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Rural Alaska

Kotlik toddler drowns in bucket of water inside home

  • Author: Lisa Demer
  • Updated: September 28, 2016
  • Published August 22, 2014

BETHEL -- A 1-year-old girl fell into a bucket of water and drowned Thursday in the Western Alaska village of Kotlik, Alaska State Troopers reported Friday.

The 5-gallon bucket was in the bathroom of the small house, just 800 or 900 square feet, troopers said. It was half-full of water used for hand-washing since the home doesn't have running water, trooper spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said in an email.

The mother was home with the 1-year-old and two siblings, Ipsen said. She had talked to the child about 10 minutes before an older sibling found her in the bucket midday Thursday. The child wasn't able to get out of the bucket herself, troopers said. Troopers didn't identify the family.

The child was taken to the community health clinic and CPR was performed for more than 30 minutes but she couldn't be revived, troopers said. She was pronounced dead at 12:48 p.m. and troopers were called. Trooper Gary Pacolt arrived about 3 p.m. from Emmonak to investigate. Troopers say he found no evidence of foul play.

The child's body is being flown to Anchorage for an autopsy by the state Medical Examiner's Office.

Kotlik is a Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta village of about 640 people about 35 miles northeast of Emmonak and more than 160 miles northwest of Bethel.

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