Tributes paid to ‘happy, bubbly’ girl, 10, killed in Yorkshire mudslide

<span>Leah Harrison’s family described her as a ‘happy, bubbly, go-lucky little girl’.</span><span>Photograph: North Yorkshire police/SWNS</span>
Leah Harrison’s family described her as a ‘happy, bubbly, go-lucky little girl’.Photograph: North Yorkshire police/SWNS

The 10-year-old killed in a mudslide while on a school trip in North Yorkshire has been described by her family as a “happy, bubbly, go-lucky little girl”.

Tributes have been paid to Leah Harrison, a year 6 pupil at Mount Pleasant primary school in Darlington, who died at Carlton Bank on the edge of the North York Moors on Wednesday.

An operation involving 30 mountain rescuers was launched to try to save her amid heavy rain during a yellow weather warning.

Leah’s family said on Thursday: “Leah Harrison, the happy, bubbly, go-lucky little girl. The beautiful smile, the giddy laugh, the silly jokes. You will never ever be forgotten baby girl.

“You will achieve your dream and become a player for the Lionesses. Spread those wings. May you rest in paradise.”

Nick Blackburn, the chief executive of Lingfield Education Trust, which runs Leah’s school, said: “The full details are still emerging but this is clearly a heartbreaking tragedy. Leah was a much-loved part of our school and our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends, and the school staff.

“Counselling is being arranged within the school for pupils and staff. We are all in a state of shock and we would ask that the privacy of the family and the school community is respected while we try to come to terms with what has happened.”

The emergency services were called at about 1.15pm on Wednesday. A Cleveland Mountain Rescue Team spokesperson said: “Nineteen Cleveland MRT members were deployed immediately, eventually rising to 30 at the scene during the course of the afternoon and working alongside their emergency service colleagues including the North Yorkshire police and North Yorkshire fire and rescue service, in addition to the ambulance services.

“North Yorkshire police have since confirmed that one person sadly died as a result of the incident. The thoughts of the mountain rescue volunteers are with the family and friends of the deceased during such a very sad time.”

The area was cordoned off throughout the afternoon and the public asked to stay away.

North Yorkshire police said Leah’s family were being supported by specially trained officers and the force asked for them to be given space to grieve.

Yellow warnings for rain continued into Thursday morning across large parts of Yorkshire, the north-east and north-west of England and across all of Scotland.

The warnings for rain remained in place across southern parts of Scotland on Thursday afternoon and are expected to continue into Friday.