At least three young boys have died and another has been hospitalized after falling through a frozen lake in the town of Solihull, England.
Officers from West Midlands Police retrieved the boys from the lake at Babbs Mill Park on Sunday afternoon, according to a news release, and they were immediately transported to a nearby hospital as searches continued to ensure nobody else was in the frigid water.
All four were in cardiac arrest when they were pulled from the water, ITV News reported.
Three of the children — ages 8, 10 and 11 — died at the hospital, and another boy, age 6, was in critical condition as of Monday morning.
According to the Associated Press, officials continued searching after two other children were reportedly with the group.
“It’s important to stress … that we’ve had no contact from anybody suggesting that there’s anybody else missing,” West Midlands Police Superintendent Richard Harris said. “But until we’re 100% certain we will be carrying on searches throughout the course of today.”
Harris said that family members of the victims are “absolutely devastated,” BBC reported, noting that officers entered the water in full clothing during the rescue attempt, and some went in waist-deep. Temperatures were as low as 34 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius) that day.
“One of my officers was trying to punch through the ice to actually rescue the children themselves,” Harris said. “That officer, as a result of that, had some mild hypothermia yesterday. I’m pleased to say he’s now been released from hospital and he’s absolutely fine.”
The children were ultimately retrieved with the assistance of specialty firefighters.
The tragedy came after the Met Office, Britain’s national weather service, issued severe weather alerts for much of the country.
The nearby St. Anthony’s Primary School announced that classes would be cancelled Monday in the wake of the deaths. “Please keep all those affected in your prayers at this difficult time,” the school shared in a statement.
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Three boys died after falling into an icy lake!!! It’s very devistating to read this tragic accident!!! It’s most unfortunate that the boys were on their own, given that if they had someone older with them, they would likely have been taken good care of!!!
I think this can be attributed to England not having weather cold enough to safely walk on a frozen lake. An unfortunate lack of experience.
This is so so sad..