The state of the pool after the rescue, with an insert of the girl´s arm. / SUR

Girl rescued from swimming pool after trapping her arm in suction pipe

Members of the Malaga provincial fire brigade had to smash through the concrete surround to free the five-year-old after her two-hour ordeal in Almayate

JUAN CANO

A five-year-old girl has been rescued by the fire brigade from a community swimming pool in Almayate after her right arm became trapped in one of the suction pipes. Concrete at the pool edge had to be broken to free her after she was stuck for almost two hours.

The 112 Andalucía control room was informed of the incident at 6.10pm on Wednesday, 20 July. Fire brigade members from the Vélez-Málaga station found the frightened girl with her right hand trapped in the suction tube.

Fortunately, there were two things that helped in the rescue, according to the technical director of the Malaga provincial brigade, Francisco Soriano. The first was that the pipe was located flush with the surface, and not mid-water or at the bottom of the pool, which would have had much more tragic consequences. The second was that it was located next to the access stairs, which allowed the girl to stand up while the work was being carried out.

Butter

Firefighters tried to free the trapped girl using soaps and gels to make her hand slippery; her parents had previously tried using butter. However, due to the length of time she had been trapped, her hand had become swollen and it didn't work.

Instead, the firefighters had to break through 40 centimetres of concrete until they reached the pipe where the child's hand was trapped.

Once released, the little girl was taken to the Materno Infantil Hospital in Malaga for a medical check-up. She did not suffer any serious injuries.

Soriano said this type of accident is relatively common in summer. "It is essential that these pipes are protected and properly covered so that children cannot stick their hands in them, and that they are located in safe areas of the pool," he said.