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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Graham Young & Alice Peacock

Huge emergency response after kids seen on frozen lake close to where 4 boys died

Three youths who were spotted playing on a frozen lake in a city park have sparked a full-scale emergency response.

Three police vehicles were parked outside Trittiford Mill Park in Yardley Wood, Birmingham, on Sunday afternoon, just a week after four boys died after being pulled from a freezing lake in the same region.

There were five more emergency response teams nearby, including two fire appliances, a technical rescue truck, and a responder vehicle.

An unmarked white car with blue flashing lights was also seen on Highfield Road above the River Cole.

On the frozen surface of the lake itself, more than half a dozen lifebuoys could be seen scattered around.

Many were nowhere near the posts which house them and they had not been thrown on the ice in a bid to rescue anybody.

Eight emergency vehicles from police and fire attended Trittiford Mill Park on Sunday afternoon (Graham Young / BirminghamLive)

The emergency team's response came after three people had been seen on the ice on both sides of the frozen lake.

The incident was almost a week after emergency teams had the heartbreaking task of trying to save the lives of four young boys who had fallen into Babbs Mill Lake in Kingshurst just before 3pm on December 11.

Samuel Butler, six, his brother Finlay, eight, their cousin Thomas Stewart, 11, and Jack Johnson, ten, all died in the incident which shocked the nation and left the local community reeling.

Yesterday, the local community had gathered at 4pm to mount a third vigil in their memory.

Brothers Finlay and Samuel Butler (left) and their cousin Thomas Stewart (right) (West Midlands Police)

And tomorrow, an inquest will be opened into the deaths of the boys aged six, eight, ten and 11 including two brothers and their cousin.

One witness braving a bitterly cold wind to walk around Trittiford Mill Park lake told BirminghamLive : "I saw some youths venturing out into the lake without regard for the fact that four young boys in Kingshurst have just lost their lives.

"I even saw one jumping up and down to see if it would crack. I don't know what must be going through their minds."

A Birmingham City Council worker in the park said: "We told the people to get off the ice. They don't seem to realise that it can be so dangerous. One of them just to said to me that they could swim."

Members of Friends of Trittiford Park who were in the park mounting a regular clean-up operation voiced their frustration at the lifebuoys being anywhere except where they might be needed.

One said: "It happens regularly that the buoys are taken out and thrown into the lake and we keep reporting that.

"The cases have to be open so that you can use them if someone gets into difficulty, but people take them out and throw them.

"We have had regular patrols of the park in the past few days and the police have been down here, too because of this kind of anti-social behaviour."

Several emergency response teams rushed to the park after reports of youths on the frozen lake (Graham Young / BirminghamLive)

A police team arrived to inspect part of the lake where there were slide marks on the ice. An officer told BirminghamLive: "The ice might seem solid, but you can see the areas where it's starting to melt already despite the freezing temperatures."

The fire teams said they had been responding to calls about young people in the area.

BirminghamLive has asked both West Midlands Fire Service and West Midlands Police for comment, with WMFS referring our inquiries solely to the police.

In a statement, West Midlands Police said: "We were called to Trittiford Mill Park, in Priory Road, Yardley Wood, shortly after 11am today to reports boys were playing on ice on the lake.

"The boys had left the lake when we arrived but we identified them and offered them safety advice about the dangers of playing on ice."

Rain has been forecast in many parts from this afternoon with the freezing temperatures of the past ten days disappearing.

Temperatures are set to climb from 3C at 3pm today to 10C by might and to 12C by 5am with a peak of 13C expected on Monday afternoon.

Park lakes might still look frozen but emergency service teams will be hoping that such a rapid rise in temperatures does not tempt others to try to skate across lakes.

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