Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Girl, 3, drowns in southern Manitoba

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A three-year-old girl drowned in a small pond near her home in southern Manitoba on Tuesday afternoon.

Volunteer firefighters and RCMP responded to the hamlet of Kane, located about an hour southwest of Winnipeg, around 1:30 p.m., on a call that a young child was unresponsive after being pulled from the water.

CPR was started and the girl was rushed to hospital in Morris, about 25 kilometres away, but efforts were unsuccessful and she died.

RCMP spokeswoman Sgt. Line Karpish said the girl was playing near her home with her siblings when she wandered off and fell into a small pond.

"It’s a very difficult time for this little girl’s family," said  Karpish. "It’s hard on the emergency personnel who did CPR and tried to keep this little one alive."

An autopsy will be scheduled in the coming days. Foul play is not suspected.

Pastor Patrick Waldner of Kane Church, where the family worships, said the little girl is Kezia Joy Waldner, 3 1/2, and said she was the second youngest of seven children to James and Evelyn Waldner.

He and the family are not related.

"They are our neighbours, our children are best friends and we are very close to them," said Pastor Waldner.

"It's been a shock for everyone."

RCMP remind the public of the increased water hazard that ditches and ponds present to children with the spring thaw.

History

Updated on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 2:35 PM CDT: adds name of girl and pastor quotes

2:56 PM: adds photo

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