A press conference following the deaths of three young boys in Solihull has revealed a police officer attempted to “punch through ice” to save the children.
West Midlands Fire Service and West Midlands Police expressed their deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones who lost someone folllowing the incident.
Emergency services were called to Babbs Mill Park in Kingshurst at 2.36pm on Sunday, with reports from the scene and social media indicating that around six children had been playing on the ice and had fallen through.
It was confirmed on Monday morning that three boys, aged 11, ten and eight, had died as a result.
Another boy, aged six, is in critical condition in hospital.
Police have had no contact from anyone suggesting there are others missing but will keep searching on Monday to make “100% certain”.
One officer was treated for hypothermia after trying to punch through ice in an effort to rescue children from the lake, police said.
Superintendent Richard Harris, of West Midlands Police, told reporters: “Police officers did go into into the water. They were joined by other members of the other emergency services. Some of the officers went in waist-deep.
“One of my officers was trying to punch through the ice to actually rescue the children themselves. That officer as a result of that had some mild hypothermia yesterday. I’m pleased to say that he’s now been released from hospital and he’s absolutely fine.”
He added that the force will continue to search the lake in case of other casualties, and will not stop until they are “100% certain”.
West Midlands Fire Service area commander Richard Stanton said the deaths were a “stark reminder” of the dangers of open water.
He told the press conference at the scene: “Yesterday’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 and there are no greater warnings of this than yesterday’s tragic 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 from happening again.”
Superintendent Harris said there are a number of witnesses officers still want to speak to and appealed for anyone with information to contact the force.
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