Coroner satisfied with work done since hot pool death

By Kristin Macfarlane

Rotorua Coroner Dr Wallace Bain is satisfied with the work the Rotorua District Council has done at Kuirau Park since 10-year-old Toromon Falaile Toromon fell into a hot pool and died.

Dr Bain has released his findings into the death of Toromon who died after falling into a hot pool in Rotorua on Boxing Day, 2010. He died at Middlemore Hospital on December 30, 2010 as a result of complications from severe burns from having fallen into a thermal hot pool at Rotorua's Kuirau Park. He suffered full thickness burns to 95 per cent of his body.

The family had come to Rotorua for a day trip and a picnic. They had lunch before going to look at geothermal pools. Toromon and his 11-year-old brother went off ahead of the group and minutes later, he had falled into the mud pool.

According to the coroner's findings, Toromon had got up on the rockery around the pool and slipped.

Dr Bain referred to the death of the child as an unfortunate incident which ended a happy family day.

The inquest was told that there were warning signs around the park and most pools are fenced off to the public but could be climbed over.

At the time Toromon fell into the pool, there was no fence preventing access and this particular pool had a low rock wall around it.

During the inquest into Toromon's death, the council's parks and recreation manager, Garry Page, confirmed there were no general rules or regulations other than to ensure springs were well fenced and adequate signage was provided. He said the council conducted regular inspections.

Since the incident council had put up fencing around the pool.

Temperature testing by the council records water temperature in the pool at 74.8C. Police investigated the incident and found there was insufficient evidence to establish criminal liability for anyone at council.

The council has re-assessed the situation, increased some fencing and signage - including making them multi-language - and Dr Bain agreed there was nothing more they could do.


- Rotorua Daily Post

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