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8th grader drowns at Pala Lagoon Swim Center during school outing

Another student from Fagaitua HS admitted for accident at Onesosopo

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — What was supposed to be a fun outing at the Pala Lagoon Swim Center turned out to be a nightmare for the family and friends of an 8th grader from Pava'ia'i Elementary School after a drowning accident resulted in her untimely death.

Samoa News was at the LBJ Hospital yesterday afternoon when the girl's body was taken to the LBJ chapel. Her father was seen sobbing over her head, speechless and obviously in a state of shock and despair.

Samoa News spoke to one of the teachers who said the outing was part of their end-of-year activities for the 8th graders. Altogether, according to the teacher, about 100 students were at the Pala Lagoon Swim Center and 6 teachers were there as chaperones.

The teacher said all the students who were at the outing had brought in signed consent forms from their parents, giving permission for the students to take part in the outing.

The teacher said that everything was going smoothly when, between noon and 1p.m., they were notified that the girl had drowned.

When Samoa News asked the teacher about their whereabouts when the accident occurred, no specific answer was provided. "We were all there," was the response from the teacher.

Samoa News understands that one of the lifeguards at the Pala Lagoon attempted to perform CPR on the girl but his efforts were unsuccessful. The girl was then rushed in a DOE vehicle to LBJ Hospital.

EMS personnel who spoke to Samoa News confirmed that enroute to Pala Lagoon, they met up with the DOE vehicle on the road, in front of Lions Park.

The girl was pronounced dead at the hospital.

When the girl's body was taken to the chapel around 2:30p.m. yesterday, Samoa News witnessed several staff members, parents, and the school’s principal there.

Also yesterday, an unidentified student from Faga'itua High School was transported to the LBJ Hospital after an accident at Onesosopo Park, during a 12th grade outing for the senior class.

Both incidents resulted in DPS and school officials canceling yesterday's activities for both schools.