Five people to be prosecuted for Syrian girl's drowning

The Public Prosecutor is prosecuting five people for the drowning of Syrian girl Salam. The 9-year-old girl drowned after a swimming lesson at a pool in Rhenen in September 2015. Three pool supervisors and two teachers will be prosecuted for negligence, the Gelderlander reports.

The investigation into the child's death took a long time The criminal case is expected to start this summer.

Erwin van Iersel, director of Optisport, which runs the pool in question, calls the Prosecutor's decision unfortunate. "For our employees, this is  huge blow. They did everything to prevent this terrible tragedy", he said to the newspaper. "We also fully support them." Van Iersen added that he is definitely not trying to push away the suffering of Salam's family. "They want to know what happened. And rightly so."

Karen Majoor, director of Erica School, is also shocked that two of her teachers will be prosecuted. "This decision affects us all deeply. Teachers choose from passion for working with children. It is their highest priority to ensure the happiness and safety of these children. What happened to my two colleagues (and the involved swimming teachers), is everyone's worst nightmare. Our thoughts continue to go out to them, and no less to Salam's family."

According to the newspaper, Salam was a Syrian refugee that ended up in Rhenen with her family. She drowned after her third swimming lesson. Exactly how this happened is still unclear. It is clear that she took part in the school swimming lesson in the shallow pool and then went to take a shower. When the lifeguard made his last round of the pool area, he saw Salam lying at the bottom of the deep pool, still in her bathing suit. Attempts to resuscitate the girl were unsuccessful and she died in the ambulance.