Children killed at water park

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The Independent Online
LISBON (Reuter) - Two Portuguese children who went missing at a Lisbon water-slide park were found to have drowned after being sucked feet first into water pipes, rescue workers said yesterday.

The children's bodies were recovered after firemen searched pipes which pump water from the pools to the top of the water slides at the recreation centre in Lisbon's Restelo suburb.

Nine-year-old Federico Mendonca went missing at the water- slide park on Tuesday, and police officers initially suspected he had been kidnapped.

But firemen were called in to search the pipes after Cristina Caldas, also aged nine, disappeared in similar circumstances on Thursday. The bodies of both children were found early yesterday. Riot police were sent to Restelo after a crowd attacked the pool buildings. The police eventually cleared the park after the glass walls of a restaurant had been shattered and two rides had been badly damaged.

A police source said the two children had been sucked feet first into different pipes by pumps which take water from the pools to the top of the water slides. Cristina's father, Alfredo Duarte, said his daughter disappeared after telling two friends she was going to go diving.

The park has been closed and an investigation ordered.

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