A young child drowned in a rainwater trough in the caregiver’s home garden

A 17-month-old boy drowned in a rainwater trough in the garden of his Somerset home, his family says

  • Seventeen-month-old Thomas Branchflower found “unresponsive” in the trough
  • His mother, Tania, said, “ He was so loved and loved by us his parents. ”
  • An investigation is now underway, with the primary cause of death cited as drowning

A baby boy drowned in a rainwater trough in a back garden while in a foster home, his family said today.

Seventeen-month-old Thomas Branchflower was found “unresponsive” in the garden of the foster family home in Wellton, Somerset and died five days later in hospital.

An investigation has been opened to record the primary cause of death as drowning brain injury.

Seventeen-month-old Thomas Branchflower was found “unresponsive” in his garden home in Wellton, Somerset and died five days later in hospital

His mother, Tanya Branchflower, said today, “Thomas was in foster care. He was found unresponsive in a rainwater bathtub and was on life support devices.

“He was so loved and loved by us his parents.”

Ms Branchflower said that she lives with Thomas’ father in Canada, but they have returned to England to be by their son’s bed.

Somerset pathologist Tony Williams confirmed that Thomas died on August 1 and that an investigation was opened on the same date.

Bristol Royal Children's Hospital, where Thomas died five days after being pulled from his small pelvis

Bristol Royal Children’s Hospital, where Thomas died five days after being pulled from his small pelvis

He recorded a primary cause of death as “brain injury by ischemic hypoxia due to drowning”.

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He added, “ I can confirm that on July 27, 2020, an unresponsive Thomas was found in a water basin in Wellton.

“Investigations are underway regarding the circumstances of Thomas’ death and a full investigation session will be required in due course.”

Somerset County Council, which is in charge of children’s services, said it was unable to comment in detail until the end of the investigation.

A spokesman said: “It is clear that this is a very tragic situation and we have extended our support to all those affected.”

The investigation is ongoing.

This is a generic photo of Williton in Somerset, where the little boy drowned. This photo does not show the house he died in

This is a generic photo of Williton in Somerset, where the little boy drowned. This photo does not show the house he died in

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