STANGHELLA (PADUA) – A moment of inattention was enough: in an instant, Yakout disappeared. On her parents’ desperate call, the little girl, who has not yet turned three, has never answered. So there is nothing left for mom and dad who are originally from Morocco but living in Mestre than to go to carabinieri and report their daughter’s disappearance.
In a matter of minutes, the party day with their couple of friends and their children, all of almost the same age, turned into a tragedy. Two hours of research until firefighters discovered the little girl’s body floating in the irrigation canal that takes water from the Gorzone River and which flows a few 100 meters from the house in via Canaletta inferior, in Stanghella, in Bassa Padovana dried out by drought.
Sheep Abdelhakim Affane, 44, and Yakout’s mother had decided yesterday morning that they would spend the day with the couple from their own Moroccan village. The four have known each other for a lifetime, they are almost the same age and both couples have two children, the oldest about 3 years old, the youngest still babies. The idea of sharing a carefree day prompted the couple to leave Mestre to reach Stanghella. Vennehuset is located between the road and the Gorzone dam, surrounded by vineyards. Definitely more comfortable to spend a few hours here, despite the heat wave, rather than in Mestre, where the asphalt further amplifies the scorching heat of this scorching summer.
The children play outdoors, the parents sip the refreshing mint tea that the hostess offers them on the outdoor table, placed in the shade of the house. There is no indication that laughter would soon be replaced by an incessant stream of tears.
It is 5 pm when the hosts have to open the gate because a car has arrived. And here the seeds of tragedy creep in. No one closes it, but the children play a lot and the parents talk to each other outside. But the unpredictable thing happens: Without anyone noticing, the little Yakout finds the gate open in a moment, goes out and trots with that unsafe run that small children have, she moves away from home, in the middle of the vineyard and the fields.
Shortly after, the mother sees the children, but among them she does not see her eldest daughter. Panic ensues. Parents with friends are starting to look for the baby everywhere. They call her desperate, but there is no trace of her. After half an hour, they give up and realize they need help. While the mother and her friend continue to look for the little one, the father takes his friend to the Boara Pisani station and warns the carabinieri about what has happened. The weapon also asks for help from the Civil Protection and firefighters, who immediately lift the helicopter to fly over the area. Meanwhile on the ground, patrols from carabinieri and other firefighters beat the landscape inch by inch. Such a small child can certainly not have come too far. Was she kidnapped? Has she been run over? Everyone is sure that the nightmare will be solved with a happy ending. Maybe to find Yakout sitting in the grass and playing. Instead, arrive at 19 news that affect everyone like a cold shower, the rescuers, the mayor and then friends and parents: two firefighters on patrol saw a small body floating in the water in a canal parallel to the Gorzone river. Despite the drought, the irrigation canals in the evening are full so that the farmers can irrigate the fields, and in any case 10 centimeters is enough for such a little girl to drown.
The firefighters throw themselves into the canal, pick up the child, try to revive her while waiting for Suem. But that little heart will never start beating again. Yakout is dead. We must tell the family: the mother’s cry of pain tears the silence of the landscape, until that moment only broken by the chirping of the cicadas.