Story By: Joseph Golder, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
This picture shows a young girl called Christabel celebrating her fifth birthday a few months before she drowned in a picture-postcard German lake while trying to play with the ducks.
The incident took place in the Sahlkamp district of Hanover, the capital of the north-western state of Lower Saxony on the evening of Friday, 3rd June, when little Christabel and her 4-year-old sister were playing with a child neighbour also aged 4 at a playground by the lake.
They were about 800 metres (0.49 miles) from their homes when they reportedly spotted the ducks that live on the large, idyllic lake called Maerchensee, which means Fairy Tale Lake in English.
After getting close to the birds, Christabel fell into the water. A passerby witnessed the scene from the bank of the lake and raised the alarm.
At 7:15pm, the emergency services arrived on the scene and frantically began looking for the child, who was nowhere to be seen.
A patrol car was the first to arrive on the scene with the officers “desperately looking for the child”, according to an eyewitness.
But the water was cloudy with extremely poor visibility, German newspaper Bild reports.
After about 10 minutes, Christabel’s lifeless body was pulled from the water.
Despite attempts to resuscitate her immediately, she was declared dead shortly afterwards at the Hannover Medical School (MHH), police spokesman Michael Bertram told local media. He added: “We have to clarify how this disaster could have happened.”
The two other children, who have not been named, survived unharmed.
The investigation is ongoing.
Christabel’s parents, unnamed in reports, reportedly moved to Germany from West Africa just five years ago.
On Saturday afternoon, the family reportedly gathered with relatives and friends to mourn according to Ghanaian custom.
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