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«I sat down for a moment and Adam disappeared»

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«I sat down for a moment and Adam disappeared»
The father’s story

Il padre, Abdenabi El Bouhali, 40 annioriginally from Fraita (a small village in the North East of Marrakech), farmer, says he arrived in Italy in 2008, has lived in Fratta since 2016, has always worked in a company in Lusia but is currently out of work due to two surgeries, one on 17 November and one on 3 March. He has stones and is in pain. Yesterday he and his other 10-year-old son were in front of the house, a stone’s throw from the “Red Devil” pub. “My wife is at home cooking,” he says. The brother’s house is further inland than the road, a few meters before. «It was 17.30 – says Abdenabi – when my son and I (see Adam, ndr) we went together back here, to my brother’s house. Before we were at the table, where there was a little to eat». While he talks he walks, enters his brother’s house and shows the dusty and messy room with birthday party decorations (not Adam’s, who would have turned 5 on March 31st). It is practically a construction site and the continuation of the story explains why. “My brother, with another brother, was here fixing a toilet. I came here to keep him company – he explains pointing to the environment -. At one point I felt pain, I put myself like this (and he folds over himself closing his eyes and simulating the pain suffered the day before, ndr) 7-8 minutes. My son was here, by my side”. And he shows where he sat the day before, at the back of the house, on a wooden chair.

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The fatal moment

A courtyard the size of a handkerchief from which a path of a few meters starts up to the Adigetto, an embankment entirely protected by a guard rail, except for a couple of meters, where the father assumes his son has fallen. “When I got up he was gone – he remembers -. I immediately ran home to look for him. I spoke to my wife and I didn’t find it and I went back». The 10-year-old son intervenes: «We thought that either they had kidnapped him or he had slipped into the river. We searched everywhere and instead it was there”. One of the uncles had even dived into the water to look for him. “The water was strong at the beginning – explained the father -. Then when the engineer came they shut down and the water stopped and stayed still. But my son had already passed (he means beyond the locks, ndr). It must have been about 6 pm, I remember well.’

The child and the school

Adam was in kindergarten in Fratta and Nello Califano, the principal of the comprehensive institute of which his meterna school was part and where a minute’s silence will be observed this morning at 10.30, says: «Adam andAmong a very sweet child, the teachers are shocked by what happened. I knew him as I know almost all my pupils. He was a sweet and polite child, cheerful, a feast for the eyes. His teachers adored him, he was exceptional ». Words of condolence also come from the president of the Region, Luca Zaia: «A terrible pain. I join in a strong and supportive hug to mum and dad, to the whole family, to friends, to all those who have loved and appreciated him in just 4 years of life. Sometimes life confronts us with trials that are difficult, if not impossible, to accept.” However, there is also an investigation into this death by the Rovigo prosecutor’s office. A neighbor told the carabinieri that she saw the two little brothers playing together when the little one slipped into the water.

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