14 Dec, 2022 @ 15:45
1 min read

Toddler who went missing with grandfather in Spain’s Huelva province dies in hospital

Antonio Blanco Gil And Grandson Daniel
Antonio Blanco Gil and his grandson Daniel.

A FAMILY in Spain’s Huelva province has suffered two tragic losses in the space of just five days. Last Wednesday Antonio Blanco Gil, 55, went missing with his 22-month grandson Daniel, to be found dead in his car the next day with the child in a critical condition. On Tuesday, the toddler died in hospital.

Blanco, a retired agricultural worker, used to take care of Daniel while his parents were working. Last Wednesday, the man left his home in the municipality of Huelva with the little boy. But the pair disappeared, and by 10pm that night Daniel’s parents raised the alarm with the Civil Guard. 

A search in appalling weather conditions was unsuccessful, until at around midday Thursday a hunter discovered Blanco’s Skoda Octavia on a country road, having apparently crashed into a pole. 

The emergency services found Blanco dead inside the vehicle. An autopsy showed that he had suffered a fatal heart attack caused by his diabetes. 

Antonio Blanco Gil And Grandson Daniel
Antonio Blanco Gil and his grandson Daniel.

Daniel, meanwhile, had spent 16 hours in the car next to his dead grandfather, and was in a coma caused by hypoglycemia and hypothermia. 

The youngster was flown by air ambulance to the Virgin del Rocio hospital in Seville, but could not be saved by doctors. His heart stopped on Tuesday after he had been taken off sedation the day before to see how his body would react. 

The family of the victims requested that Daniel’s organs be donated. “It comforts us that he will help other children,” the relatives told Spanish daily El Español

The local council in Manzanilla, meanwhile, has declared two days of mourning for the double tragedy.

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Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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