Two Naples children injured in separate accidents
Stars and Stripes June 10, 2003
NAPLES, Italy — Two Naples servicemembers’ children were hospitalized in separate incidents over the weekend.
A 16-year-old girl was seriously injured Sunday when she apparently fell from the third-floor window of her residence at the Gricignano support site. On Saturday, a 5-year-old girl was flown to Germany after getting trapped by a suction vent in the Carney Park children’s pool.
In the Gricignano incident, a sailor found his daughter lying on the cement walkway under their residence window at about 1 a.m., said Lt. Susan Henson, base spokeswoman. An ambulance transported her to the U.S. Naval Hospital. She was transferred to a local Italian hospital and underwent surgery for treatment of a serious injury. Henson did not release any more information because she could not reach the girl’s family.
The other incident, at 2 p.m. Saturday, involved the 5-year-old daughter of an Army lieutenant colonel, who is assigned to the Allied Forces South NATO base.
Lifeguard Sergio Nappo, 40, was administering a swim test when he heard three whistles, the sign for an emergency. He said a fellow lifeguard was with the girl, who was sitting when she became stuck to the vent. Her head was above water the entire time. The pool is less than a foot deep.
“As soon as I was aware of [what happened], I went to the room where the electrical pumps are, and I turned it off,” Nappo said.
Nappo said it took a minute or two from the whistle blows until the pumps were off.
“After that they were able to lift the little girl,” he said. “… She was really crying.”
The girl showed signs of bruising and bleeding, Henson said. Nappo said a doctor happened to be at the park and assisted in the girl’s care until an ambulance took her to the naval hospital. She was transported via medical evacuation flight to the Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany, for treatment and observation.
Henson said the family didn’t want to disclose any further information.
The children’s pool will remain closed until the Naples Safety Office determines it is safe. The office is conducting an investigation into the cause of the incident.