Air and land travel have been disrupted in parts of Britain amid heavy snow
By Haley Chi-Sing
As many areas of the country struggle with severe winter weather, three children died and one was left in a critical condition after they fell into a frozen lake in central England on Sunday.
Ages 6, 8, 10, and 11 boys were pulled from the icy lake by uniformed police officers and taken to a hospital in the West Midlands, about 100 miles north of London. According to police, the oldest three experienced cardiac arrest and were unable to be revived.
The 6-year-condition old’s is still critical.
At a press conference, Richard Stanton of the neighborhood fire and rescue service said, “The boys’ deaths are a tragedy beyond words.”
Immediately after 2:30 p.m. local time on Sunday, emergency services were called to the scene. Several people reportedly made attempts to help with the rescue, according to local media.
Emergency responders worked overnight into Monday morning trying to locate two other children who were reported to have been with the group of boys. It is still unclear whether those two children were also victims of the incident. However, West Midlands Police Superintendent Richard Harris stated authorities have not received contact in relation to any missing children.
“It’s important to stress … that we’ve had no contact from anybody suggesting that there’s anybody else missing, but until we’re 100% certain we will be carrying on searches throughout the course of today,″ Harris said.
Harris declined to comment on whether the children were part of a single family.
Harris also stated one of his officers was treated for mild hypothermia but has been released from the hospital.
“The officers went straight in, without regard for their own safety. They entered the water in just a normal trousers and shoes,” Harris said.
A spokesperson for British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Sunak extended his condolences, calling it “a tragic incident,” according to Reuters.
“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,” the spokesperson said.
The incident comes as theUnited Kingdom faces heavy snow and extremely low temperatures. Snow has covered parts of Britain as of Monday morning, disrupting air and land travel.
Parts of London’s underground transit system were suspended or issued delay warnings. Both Gatwick and Stansted airports in London warned flight schedules could be disrupted as a result of the weather.
Temperatures have already dropped to -15 degrees Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit) in Northern Scotland, with the Met Office confirming it as the coldest night of the year. Additional weather warnings will be issued throughout Scotland and northeast England starting Tuesday.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.