Police: Boy pulled from murky St. Paul pool was reaching for flip flops

Police have identified the young brothers rescued unconscious from a murky, trash-filled St. Paul apartment pool on Monday afternoon, adding one was reaching for a pair of flip flops when he fell in, his brother going in after to rescue him.

1 still in critical condition

Ma K Paw, 10 was taken to Regions Hospital and the police report said he was conscious, alert and breathing. Sher K Por, 7, is listed in critical condition at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare. The police report said he was on a ventilator and had a pulse at last check.

Reaching for flip flops

According to the police report, the boys' older brother, Lar K Pah, said they climbed the gate protecting the pool and the 7-year-old was trying to get a pair of flip flops in the pool and accidentally fell in. The 10-year-old then got in the pool to rescue him to no avail. Lar estimated the boys were under water for about 2 or 3 minutes, adding their mother was close by and witnessed some of the incident as well.

How they were rescued

St. Paul Fire Marshal Steve Zaccard said around 2:30, two of the paramedics jumped in the water and pulled the boys out with help from firefighters. The water was so murky, it was difficult to see them at all, he added.

Police said the pool was gated and locked, but when they arrived, there were people inside the gated area attempting to help one boy who was lying on the ground next to the pool. The medics immediately climbed the gate, got into the pool and pulled another child from the water. Fire crews had to force the gate open with a saw tool to gain entry.

The boys were found in the deep end of the pool in about 6 feet of water. The police report said the pool wasn't filled all the way, but measures 3 to 9 feet.

Pool unused for a decade

Several residents told Fox 9 the in-ground pool at the Princeton Place apartments in the 400 block of Maryland Avenue West near Arundel Street has sat unused for about a decade and said that it fills with water each year.

Firefighters have completely drained the pool, which was still filled with trash and debris, and apartment staff reinforced the 5-foot fence.

Property owner Samir Adumayyaleh said he bought the property in August 2013 and was planning to fill in the pool and build a playground.

"This definitely was a dangerous situation, that's evident by what happened here today. Why it was kept this way and who should have corrected it remains to be seen," Zaccard said.

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