RCMP, coroner investigating death of six-year-old boy in Port Alberni
An elementary school in Port Alberni will remain closed for the week while an investigation is underway following the death of a six-year-old boy.
RCMP confirmed that they were called to a home at around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday for a report of a six-year-old child in medical distress.
Paramedics rushed the child to hospital, but he did not survive.
Port Alberni RCMP and the BC Coroner's Service are investigating and say the public is not at risk, but aren't releasing any other details.
Neighbours who wished to remain anonymous told CTV News the boy lived at an 8th Avenue residence. They said investigators had been on scene since Tuesday morning hauling out items in black bags.
Others said they heard the sound of yelling and screaming coming from the home Monday night, and that officers had been seen at the residence before.
The town's mayor said the loss of life is having a ripple effect city-wide.
"It's tragic when that happens. As far as I know, he died at home, and of course it's tragic for the school that the boy attended, it's tragic for his classmates," said Mike Ruttan.
The principal of Haahuupayak Elementary on Tseshaht First Nation land posted an urgent school notice to Facebook Tuesday night, informing parents that the school would be closed for the rest of the week out of respect for the family who lost a loved one.
"The student was part of the Haahuupayak family. Our hearts and prayers go out to the family in their time of need," the post from principal Wayne Peterson read.
He said he would be on site Thursday to address any questions or concerns.
The family is reportedly asking for privacy as they grieve the loss of the young boy.
There has been no indication whether the six-year-old's death is considered suspicious.