Electricity ruled out as factor in pool drowning deaths of 3

EAST BRUNSWICK, New Jersey -- Authorities say electricity didn't play a role in the drowning deaths of three family members in their backyard swimming pool in New Jersey.

Sixty-two-year-old Bharat Patel, his 33-year old daughter-in-law Nisha Patel and her 8-year-old daughter were found unresponsive in the above-ground pool Monday afternoon by East Brunswick police responding to a 911 call from neighbors who heard screams.

Middlesex County prosecutors and police said Wednesday that electricity played no part in their deaths.

They said that while the above-ground pool was mostly shallow at 3 1/2 feet deep, a portion of the pool was 7 feet deep and "It doesn't appear that the victims knew how to swim."

The county's regional medical examiner determined the cause of death to be drowning and ruled the manner of death as accidental for all three victims.

The investigation is continuing, and anyone with information is asked to call police or prosecutors.
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