Hyatt puts barrier around fountain after child’s death

The Hyatt at the Embarcadero has put up a temporary 3-foot barrier around a shallow fountain where an 18-month-old boy recently fell in and later died. Meanwhile, cards of sympathy for the family are piling up at the front desk.

Several people have asked the hotel where they can donate gifts or send their regards for Olivier Matera, who died Saturday after slipping out of his family’s view in the hotel lobby for less than 10 minutes Thursday.

Olivier’s twin sister, mother and nanny took a break from a heavy rain that afternoon to admire the hotel’s elaborate holiday decorations. They were taking pictures when the boy went missing. Eight minutes later, a security guard found him lifeless in the fountain.

Out of respect for the family, who wishes to remain private, a hotel spokesman said the Hyatt is not planning to act as a conduit for the gifts.

“At this point, we’re just holding on to any materials for them,” said hotel spokesman Pete Hillan. The hotel will offer any accommodations Olivier’s family may need, Hillan said.

In the meantime, the Hyatt erected a temporary plastic barrier to prevent any more incidents, while engineers figure out the best way to keep the fountain enclosed.

kkelkar@sfexaminer.com

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