Hotel Pool Malfunction Leads to Child’s Death

A tragic incident unfolded over the weekend in Texas when an 8-year-old girl died after being pulled into a malfunctioning pipe in a hotel pool. The incident occurred at a DoubleTree hotel in Houston, where Aliyah Jaico was enjoying a swim in the “lazy river style” pool with her family on Saturday.

Initially, Aliyah was reported missing, sparking a frantic search by family members, hotel staff, and local authorities. “We had people searching outside, in different rooms, everywhere,” said Tim Miller, the founder of Texas EquuSearch, a search and rescue organization that was called in to assist.

The search team initially suspected that Aliyah might have been abducted from the hotel. However, a review of the hotel’s security footage revealed a chilling truth: the young girl had gone underwater in the pool and never resurfaced.

The search for Aliyah took a grim turn when her body was discovered in one of the pool’s pipes after it was drained and a camera was sent in for inspection. “We inserted poles almost 20 feet into the pipe, and we saw her little hand and part of her body,” Miller recounted, adding that the fire department was immediately called back to the scene.

According to Miller, it appears that a pump in the pool was malfunctioning, causing an open pipe, which should have been pushing water out, to suck water in instead. “There was another pipe right beside it that had a large plastic filter screen on the front. It’s supposed to be sucking water in. There was speculation that the pump was wired incorrectly, causing it to suck instead of push,” he explained.

The recovery of Aliyah’s body was a heart-wrenching moment for the search team. “Many of us had to wipe tears from our eyes,” Miller said. “This is one of the saddest cases we’ve seen in a good while.” The entire search and recovery operation took approximately 13 hours.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, Aliyah’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the hotel and its parent companies, alleging gross negligence that resulted in the child’s death. The family is seeking over $1 million in damages.

This incident is a grim reminder of the potential dangers associated with swimming pools. In 2006, a 6-year-old girl died after a pool drain at a Minnesota golf club caused severe internal injuries. In 2007, a 6-year-old boy died after his arm was sucked into a drainpipe that may have been missing a safety grate at his family’s pool.