Boy 'critical' after hot pool fall
An eight-year-old New Zealand boy is fighting for his life after being scalded head to foot when he fell into a geothermal pool which could have been as hot as 100C, a hospital spokesman said.
The incident, which happened on Sunday, was made public on Wednesday.
The incident occurred at Kuirau Park in the North Island city of Rotorua. The boy was taken to hospital in the tourist town widely known for its steaming geothermal geysers and hot mud and water pools.
He was later flown by helicopter to Middlemore Hospital in the northern city of Auckland, where he was in "intensive care in a critical condition and causing concern," spokeswoman Lauren Young said. "He's very extensively burnt," she said, adding he was believed to be visiting New Zealand with his family. Family members were at the child's bedside.
Exactly what happened to the boy was not immediately known.
Witness Anna Kare said the boy was screaming in agony as a teenage youth carried him to his parents after the accident, the New Zealand Herald newspaper reported.
"The boy was yelling 'my hands, my hands,' and I saw all the skin on his hands peeling off," Ms Kare said. "I saw the burns were all the way from his head to his feet."
She said there was no mud on the boy so it was likely he had fallen into a hot water pool.
Air Ambulance pilot Grant Bremner said the boy was unconscious when he was transported. "He was on a ventilator and on life support, he was severely burned," he said.
Rotorua District Council parks and recreation manager Garry Page said that mud and water geothermal pools can reach 100C - the boiling point of water. All pools in the park were fenced off and carried warning signs.