1. ITV Report

Hotel pool drowning tragedy family 'will launch own investigation' unless they get clear answers

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Ivor Bennett

The family of a British pastor who drowned in a hotel pool alongside two of his children say they will launch their own investigation into the tragedy unless they get clear answers as to what happened.

Christian pastor Gabriel Diya, 52, his daughter Comfort Diya, nine, and his son Praise-Emmanuel Diya, 16, died on Christmas Eve at the Club La Costa World holiday resort in Fuengirola, Spain.

An "utterly heartbroken" Olubunmi Diya, whose husband and two children died in the tragic accident, said in a statement on Friday she believed "something was wrong with the pool that must have made swimming difficult for them at that point in time".

But, the operator of the hotel said her claims are "are directly at odds with the findings of the police report" into the tragedy.

Now the family's Spanish lawyer, Javier Toro, says they will be willing to take matters further should they not be satisfied.

The hotel operator has disputed claims by the Diya family. Credit: .

He told ITV News: "If they can't clarify the causes of those three sad deaths we will commission a parallel investigation with independent engineers.

"Something must have happened in the pool as the cause of three people drowning in a resort pool.

"We are confident on police and justice, but to commission our own investigation is something we have in mind for the next days.

"They came on vacation and the three died in the same pool, it is something very, very rare, very, very unlikely, there must be more causes than a simple accident as the Civil Guard has pointed."

Spanish lawyer Javier Toro says they have faith in local police but are willing to take action if necessary. Credit: .

CLC World Resorts, which runs the hotel, said its sympathy lay with the family in "what we understand must be a stressful and desperately upsetting time for them".

However, it disputed Mrs Diya's contention about the pool, adding: "... the police report... makes it clear that their exhaustive investigations have confirmed the pool was working normally and there was no malfunction of any kind.

"We would emphasise that these are findings of the police investigation and not our own internal findings as has been wrongly reported by some media."

Mr Diya was a prominent figure in his church in London. Credit: Facebook

Mrs Diya said all three of her loved ones could swim.

But the hotel operator released an English translation of the Guardia Civil report which states that the investigation "points to a tragic accident, in principle caused by the lack of expertise of the victims when swimming".

The police report said staff from the Underwater Activities Group of the Guardia Civil "conducted several tests on the pool water purification and recycling system, which included engines, and valves, as well as a dive to collect possible traces of evidence".

The report adds: "They found no irregularity in the aforementioned inspections although they recovered a swimming cap owned by the nine-year-old, which was in the pool.

"Similarly, police officers collected water samples, which are currently being analysed at the Centre for Toxicology."

Post-mortem examinations, said the Guardia Civil, concluded the three family members drowned, and that there was no indication of injuries or chemical poisoning.