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The pool where a Little Rock toddler drowned Tuesday was closed by the Arkansas Department of Health on Wednesday, according to department reports.

The pool, located at Spanish Rock Apartments, was closed Tuesday when a 3-year-old boy who police said lived in the apartment complex drowned, according to a report from the Health Department.

The child's mother told officers that her son had been in the apartment with her and that she did not know he had left until someone told her, according to a police report.

Officers arrived at the apartment complex at approximately 6:20 p.m. Tuesday. The Little Rock Fire Department was already on scene performing CPR.

Officers called Metropolitan Emergency Medical Services, which transported the child to Baptist Health Medical Center's emergency room. Officers note that medical personnel at the hospital tried to revive the toddler but that he was pronounced dead at 6:55 p.m.

The Health Department inspected the pool Wednesday and found it to be out of code in several areas including a broken latch on the gate closest to the apartment's office, a ladder detached from the bottom of the pool's wall and damage to multiple areas of the pool's fencing, according to the department's report.

The department's published rules pertaining to swimming pools state that fencing surrounding pools must not have spaces greater than 4 inches horizontally and that the fence must be at least 4 inches off the ground at any given time.

The report also noted that the apartment complex did not keep reports on daily pool operations and accidents, as mandated by the department's swimming pool rules.

The report said the pool had been closed Sunday by the management staff, though a reason for the closure was not stated. Misty Steuart, spokesman for Trinity Multifamily's Trinity Property Management, said the pool had been closed because of weather disrupting the pool's chemical levels.

The department closed the pool until it is again in compliance with the department's mandates.

The report in no way linked the inspection results to the child's death. Department spokesman Meg Mirivel said the department only regulates and inspects the pools and will not investigate the child's death.

The Health Department had cleared the pool for opening in May and noted no breakages in the fence or gates, according to the inspection report.

Employees of Spanish Rock Apartments said they were advised not to speak with media, though Trinity Property Management LLC, released a statement saying it was not yet sure of the details of the drowning but that "the child was able to make it over the fence and in to the pool afterhours. CPR was performed by both the person that jumped the fence and found him, as well as by one of our staff members that also jumped the fence to assist."

Information for this article was contributed by Maggie McNeary of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Metro on 08/16/2018

Print Headline: Agency closes pool where boy drowned

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