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Small boy drowns in irrigation pond on Miyako Island

Date Posted: 2004-03-04

The search for a five-year-old boy ended in tragedy in Nohara, Ueno Village on Miyako island when his body was found in an irrigation pond Monday, a day after hed been reported missing.

According to Miyako Police, the boy had taken his bicycle and told his parents that he was going to play with his friends. When he failed to return, his parents started a search with the help of local residents.

The parents finally contacted the police, who discovered the boys bicycle near the irrigation pond. They also discovered one of his slippers floating on the water. A rescue diver searching the pond recovered the boys body shortly afterwards. Miyako police say there were no visible injuries, making it most likely that the boy had slipped into the pond by accident and drowned. The pond had a fence around it but there was a hole in it that was large enough for the boy to get through.

Ueno Village Mayor Shoichi Kawata said that he possibly bore some responsibility for the tragedy as the village maintains the pond. We probably should have kept better watch on the pond. I did not know that there was a hole in the fence. I thought that no one comes to play in this place. I feel so sorry for the boy, Kawata said.

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