Solihull: Three boys aged eight, 10 and 11 die after after falling through ice at Solihull lake
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A fourth boy, aged six, remains in a critical condition in hospital while officers continue to search the lake to establish whether anyone else fell into the water.
Emergency services were first called to Babbs Mill Park in the Kingshurst area of Solihull, West Midlands, near Birmingham at 2.36pm on Sunday, where it was reported four children had been playing on the ice and fallen through into the lake.
Members of the public and police officers initially went into the chilly waters to try to get the youngsters out, before the children were reached by specialist water rescue-trained firefighters who got the group to safety.
Those pulled from the water were given immediate life support by ambulance and fire service personnel before being rushed to two Birmingham hospitals; Birmingham Children’s and Heartlands, where they all arrived in critical condition.
A West Midlands Police statement 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.
“We’ve been working alongside colleagues from the fire and ambulance services as we do all we can to support those involved.
“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.”
Meriden MP Saqib Bhatti visited the scene at Babbs Mill lake on Monday, along with the leader of Solihull Council Ian Courts and deputy leader Karen Grinsell, with each praising emergency services for their heroic efforts to pull the children from the water.
The MP told reporters: “Clearly there is one officer who has mild hypothermia. In these conditions not to worry about your own safety and just to go after those children is heroic.
“The (search) operation went on all night in these really tough conditions.
“The whole community will be feeling the pain of this.”
Downing Street said the deaths of three children at a lake in Solihull were tragic but praised the response of the emergency services.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “Obviously this is devastating news for the family and friends of those who have died, this is a tragic incident.
“The Prime Minister’s thoughts are with them and obviously he passes his thanks to the emergency services who are continuing to work and provide support.”
Police added that searches of the lake are continuing to establish whether anyone else fell into the water, following reports that as many as six children may have been involved.
Temperatures are thought to have fallen to 1C (34F) in the area at the time of the incident, falling to -3C (26F) overnight.