Dubai: The final moments of a nine-year-old boy who died following a swimming pool incident at his friend's birthday party in Dubai have been revealed by the birthday boy's mother.
Boney Junior was pronounced dead on arrival at Latifa Hospital after emergency services rushed the Indian fourth grader there from the New Gold Souk building in Karama area on Tuesday night, a family friend said.
A forensics report on the cause of death is expected on Thursday, he added, but the incident was speculated as a case of drowning in some newspapers on Wednesday.
Boney, a student of Our Own English High School in Al Warqaa, was among a number of children attending the birthday party of his schoolmate friend, said the birthday boy's mum, who did not want to be named.
The party was taking place at her flat before the children proceeded to the rooftop pool, she added. At least three adults besides her were present with the children. Tenants said there was no lifegaurd or security for the pool.
Boney knew how to swim but was spotted vomitting profusely in chin-deep water, she said.
"He was throwing up badly, face down in the water. A few kids in the water then moved him towards the side while I pulled him out," she said.
"My sister was with me and called the ambulance right away. Another lady, a tenant, ran down to call for help.
"Boney's eyes were open when we pulled him out. He was breathing, warm, and had a pulse. I could feel his heart beat. He wasn't totally out, he was somewhat responding in shallow grunts when you called his name.
"We did our best to save him. We did whatever we thought we could to help; pumping his chest, rubbing his hands and feet. We thought he would survive, we had full hope he would live.
"But then he started to get cold.
"The ambulance came about 20 to 25 minutes after my sister had called, I think because of heavy traffic. They had to struggle to fit the strecher in the lift. I wanted to go with them but I had to stay to give statements to police."
The woman added she later visited the hospital where "nurses at first thought I was his mum because I was crying uncontrollably."
She said: "They initially told me, 'he's fighting, we're trying.' I think they were trying to console me. But I felt something was wrong and I stopped a doctor who told me he's no more."
Boney's father, also named Boney, declined to comment. A family friend, Afsal Majeed, said Boney's father had called him at about 7.20pm to visit the hospital.
"At about 7.50pm it had been confirmed Boney was dead on arrival. He was a chatty and active boy who was like a friend to his father - they were really close," Majeed said. "His father is pressing down his great sorrow, so that he can do the paperwork now."
Boney's parents and younger sister, aged four, stay at a flat in Karama.
The victim’s family hails from Ernakulam in Kerala, India. The case is currently under investigation.
According to a family friend, the accident occurred in the swimming pool at the rooftop of the building where Boney was attending the party.
“It was late evening when his father got a phone call about the accident and the ambulance had already arrived. However, before they could reach the hospital, the child passed away,” said a friend.
With input from Shveta Pathak and Rayeesa Absal, Staff Reporters