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RCCG pastor, son die while trying to save drowning daughter


A pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church God and two of his kids, based in London, on Christmas eve, drowned in a hotel pool in Spain.

The pastor Gabriel Diya, a 52-year-old, his son Praise-Emmanuel Diya, 16, and daughter Comfort Diya, 9, were confirmed dead by drowning by Spanish police after post-mortem examinations carried out on them.

Comfort had slipped towards the deep end of the six-and-a-half feet deep pool at holiday resort Club La Costa World near Fuengirola, around 2 pm local time on Christmas Eve.

Her father and older brother jumped into the pool to save but also struggled in the water.

Despite poolside attempts to resuscitate them, all three died at the scene. A witness told UK’s Daily Mirror that Diya’s wife prayed as CPR was performed on her husband and children.

Gabriel’s Church, RCCG, in a post on Facebook paid tribute to him.

“With heavy hearts, we extend our condolences to the family, parish, friends and associates of Area Pastor Gabriel Diya who sadly passed away, along with two of his children… in a tragic incident while on a family holiday in Spain,” the church said.

“At this very difficult time, our prayers are for Pastor Gabriel Diya’s family, the parishes that were under his supervision, friends, associates, members of RCCG and the general public,” the post added.

The church said Gabriel was also the parish pastor at Open Heavens, a Christian religious group with origins in Nigeria, based in Charlton, south-east London. He was survived by his wife, assistant pastor Olubunmi Diya, and another daughter.

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