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Four-year-old dies after becoming trapped in tumble dryer

Investigators in Magaluf believe the child went off to hide when his aunt fell asleep on the sofa
Investigators in Magaluf believe the child went off to hide when his aunt fell asleep on the sofa - DAVID RAMOS/GETTY

A four-year-old boy has been found dead after becoming trapped inside a tumble dryer during a game of hide-and-seek.

Police in Majorca suspect that the boy climbed inside the appliance while playing in the family’s apartment in the beach resort town of Magaluf.

According to the Majorcan newspaper Última Hora, investigators understand that the child went off to hide when his aunt fell asleep on the sofa, and his grandmother, who was also looking after the boy, had left the home on an errand.

Having interviewed the two family members, investigators believe that the little boy accessed the home’s terrace, where the family kept the washing machine and dryer, as well as other belongings. The boy’s carers said they left the terrace door open as their pets use the space.

The boy is believed to have been hiding inside the dryer when the door closed accidentally, leaving him trapped.

The doctor who declared the boy dead found that he had injuries to his knuckles, believed to be from hitting the door in an attempt to escape. The cause of death has not been officially confirmed but is believed to have been asphyxiation.

When the boy’s grandmother arrived home, she realised that the child was missing and began to look for him until she found him inside the dryer and called the emergency services. Ambulance workers were unable to revive him.

The aunt and grandmother reportedly needed treatment from the emergency services for shock and have received assistance from psychologists.

The tragedy mirrors the death of four-year-old Sonny Gibson in Ashbourne, Derbyshire in 2010.

In that case, the police investigation concluded that the most likely scenario was that Sonny had kicked the door which sprung back and slammed shut, activating the dryer.