Bodies of drowned RCCG pastor, kids flown from Spain to UK
The deaths of the London family in a Club La Costa World pool in Spain has left wife and mum of the victims Olubunmi Diya with questions about what happened to her loved ones.
The bodies of the British dad and his two children who drowned in a Costa del Sol swimming pool were due to be repatriated on Saturday.
Officials took the bodies to Malaga Airport in three funeral hearses on Saturday morning so they could be flown back to the UK 11 days after the Christmas eve holiday tragedy that claimed their lives.
Gabriel Diya, 52, and his children Comfort, nine, and Emmanuel-prince, 16, lost their lives after taking their first holiday dip at their pool on the Club La Costa World resort near Fuengirola, Spain.
Police have described the incident as a ‘tragic accident’ caused by the victims’ lack of swimming skills.
But Christian preacher Mr Diya’s widow Olubunmi, who returned to the UK with her surviving daughter Favour, 14, last Saturday, has hired a Spanish lawyer after claiming her loved ones could all swim and there was something wrong with the pool.
An investigation led by a court in Fuengirola is ongoing, according to the Mirror UK.
Police tests have shown up no anomalies with the pool.
Mrs Diya’s lawyer javier Toro has said he could press for new tests on the pool done by engineers he would hire for the job once he has read through the police report.
It was not clear today when the funerals of Mr Diya and his children would take place. The plane carrying their bodies was expected to reach the UK late afternoon.
Mr Diya, who lived with his family in Charlton, south east London, was a pastor at a branch in the capital of the Redeemed Christian Church of God.
Pastor Agu Irukwu, chairman of the RCCG board of trustees in the UK, told the Guardian newspaper overnight he had spent time with Mrs Diya and she had been grieving but showing “grace and dignity.”
he said: “My wife and I were really amazed at the grace and dignity she is exhibiting at a time like this.
“We left there thinking we had been in the presence of a remarkable woman.”
Heartbroken Favour Diya told police after the tragedy she had come close to suffering the same fate as her siblings after “sliding towards the deep part” of the pool which was in the middle.
She admitted to never having swum in areas where she was out of her depth but told cops who interviewed her when she was asked if she could remember any suction or current in the pool: “The water was moving but I don’t know how to explain it.”
Although Favour told police she was not aware the deepest part of the pool was in the middle, the children’s mum insisted to investigators she had told her youngest girl Comfort.
In a statement released three days after the tragedy through her lawyer, Mrs Diya said, “I would like to thank all those who have sent their condolences and supported our family during this extremely difficult time following the tragic deaths of Gabriel, Comfort and Praise-emmanuel.
“Our family are utterly heartbroken by the events last Tuesday but we are comforted and strengthened by our strong faith in our Lord jesus Christ.
“We are deeply shocked, saddened and struggling to come to terms with their passing.
“They all brought a joy and love to the world and to everyone that crossed their path. We love them all dearly, will always remember them in our hearts and miss them greatly.”
•Demonstrators protesting the US drone attack which killed Iran’s Major General Qasem Soleimani in Iraq on January 3, in Washington DC, US … on Saturday. Photo: AFP