Swimming pool tragedy girl named

A YOUNG girl who died in a public swimming pool has been named.

A YOUNG girl who died in a public swimming pool has been named.

Michelle Gellard, seven, drowned shortly before 2pm on Saturday at the Blackwater Leisure Centre in Park Drive, Maldon.

The girl, from the Isle of Dogs area of London, was pronounced dead at Colchester General Hospital later despite extensive efforts to save her.

A post mortem is due to be carried out today.

Penny Channer, leader of Maldon District Council, which owns the leisure centre, said: “First and foremost we would like to offer our sincere and heartfelt condolences to all the girl's family and friends and those who were involved in the incident.

“Maldon District Council is currently undertaking a full and thorough investigation, working closely with the Health and Safety Executive and Essex Police,”

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She said the investigation was being undertaken with the full co-operation of Leisure Connection, the company which runs the pool on the council's behalf.

Graham Farrant, the chief executive of Leisure Connection, said: “All our thoughts and sympathies are with the family and we will do anything we can to help the police to investigate this tragic incident.

“We are working closely with the police investigators and the local council, and the centre will remain closed while this vital investigation takes place.”

Essex Police have said the death is not being treated as suspicious and the matter had been referred to the coroner's office and Maldon District Council for investigation.