MEXICO CITY (AP) — An equipment malfunction in an artificial river at a theme park run by Mexico’s Grupo Xcaret sucked a 13-year-old Mexican boy into an intake or pipe, drowning him, authorities said Thursday.
Prosecutors in the Caribbean coast state of Quintana Roo said they had opened a manslaughter investigation into the case.
The death occurred March 27 in a two-foot (60 centimeter) deep cave-like river attraction at Xenses, a park operated Grupo Xcaret right next to the company’s flagship Xcaret water park near Playa del Carmen.
The company said in a statement that the accident was due to human error and “unauthorized repairs” carried out at the attraction.
Prosecutors said “the boy was swimming with his father in the river, when the boy was swept away by the current, and was rescued by his father.” However, the youth could not be revived.
The boy's relatives said on social media that he had been sucked into a pipe or intake. Photos on social media showed signs at the river saying it had been temporarily closed by authorities.
Prosecutors the father waived an autopsy, but “granted legal pardon” to the company.
The father told the newspaper El Universal that authorities refused to give him his son's body until he signed the ‘pardon’, which would presumably release the company of responsibility.