Three boys have tragically died after falling into a frozen lake at Babbs Mill Park in Solihull yesterday afternoon (11 December).
The boys, aged 11, 10 and 8, were rushed to hospital after being pulled from the water by the emergency services.
However, at 12:01 hours today, 12th December, a spokesperson for West Midlands Police confirmed that, sadly, the boys could not be revived.
A fourth boy, aged 6, remains in a critical condition in hospital.
The families of the three boys are being supported by specialist family liaison officers from West Midlands Police (WMP).
Searches of the lake are continuing as the emergency services seek to establish exactly what happened and if anyone else fell into the water.
During a press conference, Supt Richard Harris from West Midlands Police said the first 999 call came at 14:30 GMT, and officers responded in minutes.
The fire service also arrived quickly on the scene at the large lake, adding that it took a while to establish the point of entry.
Police officers went into the lake in normal clothes, as did firefighters, followed later by their colleagues who were wearing protective clothing.
Supt Harris added that one police officer tried to punch through the ice. One police officer was taken to hospital with mild hypothermia but has since been discharged.
A spokesperson for West Midlands Police said:
‘We’ve been working alongside colleagues from the fire and ambulance services as we do all we can to support those involved.
‘We understand how distressing this is for the families and the wider community.
‘We would ask people not to speculate or share any video footage at this stage.
‘You can contact us with information, video or images via https://mipp.police.uk/operation/20HQ19Z98-PO1.’
A spokesperson for West Midlands Ambulance Service said:
‘We offer our sincerest condolences to the family & friends of the three boys who have sadly died following the incident in Babbs Mill Park last night. Our thoughts also remain with the family of the fourth boy, who remains in a critical condition in hospital.’
Area Commander Richard Stanton, of West Midlands Fire Service, said:
“The boys’ deaths are a tragedy beyond words. The thoughts and heartfelt sympathies of everyone here at West Midlands Fire Service are with their families, friends and the wider community at this distressing time.
“Sunday’s incident is a stark reminder to us all of the dangers of open water, especially during the winter months.
“Frozen lakes, ponds, canals and reservoirs can look picturesque, but they can be lethal. There can be no greater warning of this than Sunday’s awful events.
“We would ask parents and carers to remind their children of the dangers of ice, and why they must keep off it. Please help us to avoid this happening again.
“We will continue to work closely with our emergency services colleagues and provide any support we can at the scene. Again, we extend our heartfelt sympathies to everyone who has been affected by the boys’ deaths.”
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