Heatstroke claims toddler locked in car

A three-year-old girl died from severe heatstroke on Thursday evening after being found unconscious and locked in a car, hospital sources have confirmed. 

The child was brought to Moto'otua Hospital by her parents at about 6.40pm on Thursday evening; she passed shortly before midnight later the same evening, two hospital sources have confirmed to the Samoa Observer. 

It is not known for how long the child had been left in the car but the intensity of her symptoms led hospital staff to speculate that she had been left there for some time. 

The Samoa Observer was told that she was already in critical condition from heatstroke upon presenting at the hospital, and was taken into the Intensive Care Unit immediately.

A request for comment from the Ministry of Health was not returned. 

Contacted for comment, the Deputy Director-General of the Health Ministry, Dr. Ponifasio Ponifasio, said: "I don't want to talk to you."

Dr. Ponifasio hung up the phone before he could be asked questions about the case. 

Police had no comment on the case when contacted late on Friday afternoon. 

One woman purporting to be a witness to the case, Adele Keil, posted on social media: "Just witnessed a sad situation of young parents carrying their dead child from ward to morgue".

When approached for comment by the Samoa Observer Ms. Keil declined to comment. 

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