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Three members of a British family have died at a Costa del Sol holiday resort.
The tragedy unfolded after a nine-year-old girl got into difficulty at the swimming pool of the Club La Costa World resort near Fuengirola this afternoon.
Police divers were scrambled to the resort pool at around 1.30pm after her father, 52, and older brother, 16, jumped in after her and also got into difficulty. All three were later found unresponsive in the water.
Well-placed sources described the girl and her father as British but said the older boy was travelling on an American passport.
The children's mother is understood to have been one of the people who raised the alarm and is thought to have been interviewed by investigators.
Police divers are pictured at the poolside of the Club La Costa World resort in Spain after three members of the same British family died there today
Tanya Aamer, 23, a holidaymaker from Birmingham who is staying at the resort, said she saw 'bodies covered in white sheets' by the side of the pool, and could hear 'a woman crying aloud'.
'The atmosphere as I was walking past is indescribable,' she added.
'Obviously we've never been in that situation before so we kind just began walking slowly in a slight state of confusion as to what we're witnessing and eventually when we got to the bottom it was just silent, no talking or anything.'
One insider close to the ongoing probe added: 'The girl's brother and then the father jumped into the water when they saw she was in difficulties. All three have died.
Pictured: The entrance to the Club La Costa World resort on Spain's Costa del Sol where three Britons died today
'An investigation is ongoing so it is too early to say what has happened but specialist Civil Guard divers were mobilised after the gravity of what had occurred became apparent and one of the things they have looked at is the pool pump.'
The bodies of the three relatives have already been transferred to the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Malaga. Autopsies are expected to take place tomorrow.
A spokesman for Club La Costa World operator CLC World Resorts & Hotels said in a statement: 'Management at Club La Costa World resort would like to offer is heartfelt condolences to the family affected by the loss of three family members on December 24 2019.
The tragedy occurred after a nine-year-old girl got into difficulties in the resort's swimming pool (pictured) and her older brother and their father jumped into the water to save her
'The guests were found unresponsive in one of the resort's pools. First response teams and emergency services attended and administered first aid.
'The management are assisting the authorities fully with their investigation into the deaths.
'We would like to thank our first response team and the emergency services for their quick and appropriate responses and our staff for the continuing support of the family at this difficult time.'
A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said: 'We are offering assistance to a British woman following an incident in Spain.'
A police van at the scene after a nine-year-old girl got into difficulties at the swimming pool of the Club La Costa World resort near Fuengirola this afternoon
Police divers were inspecting the swimming pool, including the pump, following the incident, according to the Mirror.
If the pool pump was involved, it would not be the first tragedy of its kind.
In 2009, British schoolboy Nathan Clark drowned at a Thai water park after apparently being sucked into a pool's pumping system.
And a 12-year-old Russian girl died after she was reportedly trapped underwater when her arm was sucked into a swimming pool pump at a Turkish resort last summer.