A three-year-old boy who drowned was found still holding hands with his oldest sister after they were pulled from the bottom of a lake along with three family members who tried to save him.
The tragic incident took place at Derinoz Dam near the city of Amasya in Turkey, where the family was celebrating Levent Cenik’s third birthday.
Turkish media report the boy fell into the water followed by his nine-year-old sister, Havvanur Cenik, while other relatives also jumped in the lake to try to rescue them.
A total of five people died during the birthday party including the boy’s grandmother Sultan, 50, uncle Emrullah, 19, and aunt Elif Semiz, 28, who all drowned while trying to help.
Search and rescue teams were dispatched to the area after the incident was reported to the authorities by bystanders.
According to the rescuers, the lifeless bodies of Levent and Havvanur were found still holding hands.
Amasya Fire Brigade director Selim Keles said: ”We found Elif Semiz three metres from the place where the incident took place, and the grandmother, Sultan Cenik, at the point towards the dam walls.
”After a while, the children were found at a depth of 10 metres. Two of the children were side by side and were taken out holding hands.
‘We experienced this incident and we are devastated as a team. We found the uncle about six meters away.”
The children’s grieving parents, father Beytullah Cenik and mother Gullu Cenik, were inconsolable during the family funeral the following day, Haberler reported.
The five bodies were buried in the family cemetery after a prayer service.
The little boy with his dad Beytullah
Elif (left) and Sultan (right) drowned while trying to rescue the boy
The boy’s uncle Emrullah was one of those who jumped in the water
Levent’s dad Beytullah was inconsolable during the family funeral