Boy, 6, becomes fourth child to die in frozen lake tragedy

Police announced the deaths of three other boys, aged eight, 10, and 11, on Monday.

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A six-year-old boy has become the fourth child to die after falling into an icy lake in Solihull.

The youngster had been fighting for his life in hospital since the incident at Babbs Mill Lake, Solihull, near Birmingham, on Sunday.

Police announced the deaths of three other boys, aged eight, 10, and 11, on Monday.

Police break the ice on the lake at Babbs Mill Park in Kingshurst. Picture date: Tuesday December 13, 2022.
Police break the ice on the lake at Babbs Mill Park in Kingshurst. Picture date: Tuesday December 13, 2022.

West Midlands Police said: “Our deepest sympathies are with the families and friends of those involved in this tragedy.

“We cannot comprehend the enormity of the pain they must feel and our hearts go out to them.

“Specialist officers remain in contact with the family and we will issue further information as soon as we can.

“The searches have been completed and the scene of the incident at the lake will be lifted this evening.”

The death comes as England international Tyrone Mings visited a makeshift memorial at the lake.

Mings and fellow Aston Villa player and club captain John McGinn arrived on Wednesday to look at the carpet of floral tributes to the boys.

Mings, who plays at centre-back for the Birmingham-based club and has earned 17 caps for England, said: “It was a personal decision to pay our respects.

“I think it’s impacted the whole city.

“We felt it was important to come down on a personal level just to show that support.

“Sometimes, as we’ve seen with other things that have happened across the city, there are things more important than football.

“We felt it was important to come down here, show our respects and show we were thinking about everything that has happened and the parents that are affected by it.

“We feel that pain too.”

Later on Wednesday, staff from nearby John Henry Newman Catholic College and Kingshurst Primary School both spent a few minutes looking at the flowers and reading messages on cards including heartfelt tributes to the “Babbs Mill Boys”.

Earlier this week, relatives paid tribute to one of the youngsters, 10-year-old Jack Johnson, who is reported to have been trying to save others who fell into the water, and in a social media post, thanked members of the community for their support.

Several other tributes had cards dedicated to Jack while others paid tribute to another boy by name, saying: “To Thomas, The world will not be same without you” and “Thomas, rest in peace. Love from Earl”.

Among the dozens of teddy bears was one with the message: “RIP beautiful angels.”

More details have emerged about the rescuers, who included members of the public and police officers, including a new officer who suffered mild hypothermia after trying to punch through the ice in order to get the boys out as quickly as possible.