Three boys dead after falling through icy lake as 6-year-old remains critical
Three boys aged 11, 10 and eight have died after being pulled from an icy lake in Solihull on Sunday, West Midlands Police has said.
Four children were taken to hospital in critical condition after being rescued from a lake in Solihull in the West Midlands on Sunday afternoon after falling through ice.
A search of the lake is continuing after reports up to six children fell in, but authorities have warned it is “no longer a search and rescue operation”.
The four children were all in cardiac arrest when rescue teams pulled them out.
They were rushed to hospital but West Midlands Police said “they could not be revived”.
A West Midlands Police spokesperson said: “Three boys have tragically died after falling into the lake at Babbs Mill Park in Solihull yesterday afternoon.
“The boys, aged 11, 10 and eight, were rushed to hospital after being pulled from the water.
“Sadly, they could not be revived and our thoughts are with their family and friends at this deeply devastating time. We'll have specialist officers offering them as much support as we can.
“A fourth boy, aged six, remains in a critical condition in hospital.”
Temperatures are thought to have plunged to 1C (34F) in the area at the time of the incident, falling to -3C (26F) overnight.
Richard Stanton, area commander for West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We know that the weather forecast for the next few days is expected to be bitterly cold, please, adults and children alike, stay away from open water, under no circumstances venture on to ice regardless how thick or safe you think this ice may be.”
Sir Keir Starmer sent his condolences after what he described as “every parent’s worst nightmare.”
The Labour leader wrote on Twitter: “Heartbreaking news. Thinking of families of the three children who have tragically died, as they face every parent’s worst nightmare.”
Families affected by the tragedy in Solihull are “absolutely devastated”, superintendent Richard Harris of West Midlands Police said.
He told reporters: “Also this time of year, it's on the run-up to Christmas, so close to the event itself, also adds to that tragedy.
“But as you can imagine the families are absolutely devastated, which is why we're doing our very best to support the families.
“And obviously we're abiding by their requests at the moment as to how much information that the families want us to make available to the media so we're doing everything we possibly can to support them.”
One officer was treated for hypothermia after trying to punch through ice in an effort to rescue children from the lake, police said.
Superintendent Richard Harris, of West Midlands Police, told reporters: “Police officers did go into into the water.
“They were joined by other members of the other emergency services. Some of the officers went in waist-deep.
“One of my officers was trying to punch through the ice to actually rescue the children themselves. That officer as a result of that had some mild hypothermia yesterday. I'm pleased to say that he's now been released from hospital and he's absolutely fine.”
Superintendent Harris said there are a number of witnesses officers still want to speak to and appealed for anyone with information to contact the force.