Workers Lose Jobs After Fall River Pool Death

BOSTON (CBS/AP) – Four people have lost their jobs after a body went unnoticed for more than two days at the bottom of a state-run swimming pool in Fall River last month.

In a news conference Wednesday, the state Department and Conservation and Recreation, which oversees the pools, announced that pool manager Justin Medeiros, assistant pool manager Kevin Tavares, and southeast regional director Brian Shanahan all resigned at the request of the DCR. Sources confirmed the names of those who resigned to WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson.

Investigators said Wednesday the pool should not have been opened on Sunday, June 26 because the water was too cloudy.

DCR commissioner Edward Lambert said all three had a “direct role in the decision making relative to opening the pool” or “were involved in decisions that contradicted agency policy and were contributing factors to this tragic event.”

The city has also fired the health inspector for failing to close the pool with such murky conditions.

WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano reports

36-year-old Marie Joseph drowned after going down a slide into the cloudy water of the pool’s deep end that day.

Joseph’s body did not surface until Tuesday evening, more than two days later.

People continued to swim in the pool during that period.

The preliminary investigation showed the chlorine system at the pool shut down June 25, the day before the drowning and that the pool staff attempted to balance the chemical levels manually.

DCR officials say surveillance video showed Joseph coming up above the water briefly on June 26 before going down unnoticed for good into the murky water.

The video also showed there should have been another lifeguard on duty, given all of the activity in the deep end of the pool at the time Joseph went under.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports

As for reports that a 9-year-old boy told lifeguards that Joseph missing, Lambert said they have not found any evidence to confirm that.

The DCR also announced Wednesday they will change the current pool water clarity inspection guidelines.

Slides at all state-run pools will be closed for testing as well.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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