Wednesday, August 09, 2006

[MN] Hmong boy, 12, drowns at beach

A 12-year-old boy, Xing Pao Lee of North Branch, died Sunday night at the hospital from drowning in Lake Elmo, according to the Pioneer Press. An 11 year-old cousin remains in critical condition.

The man-made pond is considered one of the largest chlorinated bodies of water in the state, with an estimated 80,000 visitors per season. It has a sand bottom, holds a million gallons of water and is surrounded by 2 acres of beach.

The accident, which happened near its closing time. Three lifeguards were monitoring the pool area while three others were cleaning the beach and a seventh was doing paperwork.

"We don't feel good, but we feel comfortable how it was handled," Parks Director Jim Luger said in the Pioneer Press article. "We do what we normally do and it has worked more often than not."

The accident is the second time in six years that someone has died at the pond. In 2001, a girl with a heart defect died there, Luger said.

Update: Washiseng Yang, 11, has died as well.

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