The family members of an East Hartford High School student who died during gym class are still looking for answers. Police responded to a report of a possible drowning at the school shortly after noon on Wednesday.

Fire Chief John Oates said 15-year-old Marcum Asiamah had only been in the pool for a short period of time. A bystander performed CPR until rescue workers arrived. CPR was continued on the way to Hartford Hospital, where Asiamah was later pronounced dead.

The state medical examiner’s office determined that the cause of death was asphyxia by submersion; it was ruled accidental.

It has been two days since the drowning and the family says it still hasn’t learned details of how it happened or of the level of supervision in the class.

“It’s been very, very tough without any answers about how things happened — no answers to help us grieve,” said Vida Kwofie, Asiamah’s aunt.

Kwofie said Asiamah was a freshman who didn’t know how to swim. She said he was looking forward to the lessons he was to receive in gym class on the day of the accident.

In a written statement, the school’s Superintendent Mark F. Zito said, “Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the family and friends of the student involved in this incident. The school district is planning to provide grief counseling and support for students, faculty, and staff. The details of that support will be made available shortly. The incident is under investigation and we have no findings that we can share with you at this time.”

(Source: Hartford Courant)

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