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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Josh Sandiford & Stephanie Balloo & Dave Burke & Naomi DeSouza

Three boys aged 8, 10 and 11 die after falling into frozen lake in Solihull

Three boys, aged eight, 10 and 11, have died after being pulled from an icy lake in Solihull yesterday, while a six year old is fighting for his life.

The heartbreaking update comes after search teams spent the night scouring the water in Babbs Mill Park in Kingshurst, where the tragedy unfolded.

The four children were pulled from the lake yesterday afternoon, after police received reports of six youngsters in the water.

One of them has been named as Jack Johnson, ten. Another was named locally in floral tributes as 11-year-old Thomas.

Members of the public joined emergency crews wading into the water desperately trying to save the children.

Today West Midlands Police chief Supt Richard Harris said no one has come forward to report anyone missing, but searches would continue until investigators were "100% certain" no one was left behind.

"The families are absolutely devastated," Supt Harris told reporters this afternoon. He said officers were providing support for the boys' loved ones and their schools.

Police at the scene of the tragedy this morning as a search of the water continues (Getty Images)

Mr Harris said: "Yesterday evening we had a number of different reports suggesting numbers of young people that may have been in the lake.

"These reports don't match the children that were rescued from the lake yesterday.

"We have to be 100% certain that there's no one else in the water at this time.

""It's important to stress though that that we've had no contact from anybody suggesting that there's anybody else missing, but until we're 100% sure we'll be continuing searches through today."

A neighbour told Mail Online Jack and his friends had been playing on the ice when they fell through.

They added: "Jack and the other lads saw that it had been snowing from the flats and wanted to go and play.

"They rushed across to the park and were playing on top of the frozen lake, when the ice cracked.

"It's so tragic. Jack was a lovely lad. I know his dad Kirk. He is devastated. My heart goes out to him."

The police chief said officers had rushed into the water "with no regard to their own wellbeing", and said one suffered hypothermia after trying to punch through the ice.

Searches are being carried out at the scene amid fears more children may be missing (Rowan Griffiths / Daily Mirror)

Mr Harris declined to reveal whether any adults were with the children when the tragedy happened, but said there is currently no criminal investigation.

Confirming the devastating news, a West Midlands Police spokesperson said this morning: "Three boys have tragically died after falling into the lake at Babbs Mill Park in Solihull yesterday afternoon.

"The boys, aged 12, 11 and 8 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 6, remains in a critical condition in hospital."

Specialist teams spent the night scouring the lakes after authorities said it would "no longer be a search and rescue operation" as temperatures plummeted.

This morning's police statement continued: "Searches of the lake are continuing as we seek to establish exactly what happened and if anyone else fell into the water.

"We understand how distressing this is for the families and the wider community.

"We would ask people to not speculate or share any video footage at this stage."

Last night police said four children were in a critical condition after being rescued from the lake, with one police officer suffering hypothermia during the rescue.

It is believed that the youngsters were playing on the ice when it happened.

Crew members from all the emergency services went into the water in a desperate effort to rescue the children (Joseph Walshe / SWNS)

Superintendent Richard Harris, of West Midlands Police, last night said officers from all the emergency services went into the water to help the rescue, with a police officer subsequently being taken to hospital.

He said: "When officers first arrived on the scene, they went into the lake, together with fire and ambulance colleagues. It was a combined effort of all officers going into the lake to try to rescue them."

The press conference heard that one of the police officers suffered mild hypothermia and is making a "full recovery" in hospital.

Crews swam to the first child and three further children were rescued from the water. Four children were taken to nearby hospitals.

The tragedy unfolded yesterday afternoon as children played on the ice (PA)

Four children, who were in cardiac arrest, were immediately assessed on scene and rushed to hospital on blue lights. They were given advanced life support, two were taken to Heartlands Hospital and two to Birmingham Children's Hospital.

All four were critical on arrival. No further medical updates were available.

A school near the huge Babbs Mill Lake search operation was closed today - with a plea for people to keep those affected "in their prayers". St Anthony's Primary School at Kingshurst tweeted last night that it would be shut today, Birmingham Live reports.

It was not known if it was directly affected by the incident.

In a statement last night West Midlands Ambulance Service said: "After being rescued, the four children were immediately assessed and actively treated at the scene by ambulance staff. All four were taken on blue lights to hospital, each with an enhance care team travelling with the ambulance crew, with treatment ongoing.

"Two were taken to Birmingham Childrens Hospital and two to Heartlands Hospital. All four children were said to be in a critical condition on arrival.

"The Hazardous Area Response Team continued to work with colleagues from police and fire at the scene until around 6.30pm to ascertain if there was anyone else in the water. Ambulance resources have now stood down."

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