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Mings, McGinn and Eustace pay respect as six year old becomes fourth child to die after lake tragedy

Tyrone Mings, John McGinn and John Eustace pay respect as a six year old becomes the fourth child to die after the Solihull lake tragedy.

The other three children, aged 8, 10 and 11, also lost their lives while they were at Babbs Mill Park in Kingshurst on Sunday.

West Midlands Police stated that they were sad to inform the fourth child who was taken to hospital, had “lost his fight” for life.

Many floral tributes and toys were left near the lake.

The West Midlands Fire Service was also involved in the rescue effort, laying down flowers at a tree with residents.

Jack Johnson was the local name for the 10-year-old boy, although the identities of the three other boys have yet to be confirmed.

Police confirmed that specialist diving teams were still in the water on Tuesday. However, they did not report any other missing persons.

They also stated that all searches were now complete and that the cordon would be lifted but warnings are issued to anyone across the country to avoid rivers, lakes especially at cold times likes these where people can get into difficulty.

Police expressed their deepest sympathy Wednesday to the families and friends who lost their children.

A statement stated: “We cannot comprehend the enormity of the pain they must feel and our hearts go out to them.”

Jack’s family members said that all families affected by the tragedy were experiencing “unimaginable pain”.

His aunt Charlotte McIlmurray thanked his local community through social media for their support.

Police officers and members of the public at first tried to rescue the children from the water, but they had to eventually be pulled out by water rescue-trained firefighters. One officer tried to reach the boys by punching through the ice.

Kingshurst has been visited by many mourners, leaving hundreds of gifts, balloons, teddies and cards as a mark of respect. Also, people paid their respects at a location near Babbs Mill Lake.

Jed Wallace gave his and West Brom’s thoughts after their win against Sunderland on Monday, and Jude Bellingham wrote on Instagram. See that HERE.

Tyrone Mings and John McGinn went to the scene on Wednesday to place flowers.

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

“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.”

The players were at the club’s mid-season training camp in Dubai before returning to England ahead of Thursday’s home game against Villareal.

McGinn said: “We were in Dubai when we heard the news and I thought of my nieces and nephews, and the players thought about their kids. “It was certainly moving for us.

“We saw John Eustace come down yesterday and myself and Tyrone thought it would be good for us to pay our respects.

“I’m sure tomorrow night in the friendly against Villarreal, the Villa family will come together and pay our respects to what is a tragic event so close to home.

“Nothing can sum up what the families will be thinking, what the community will be thinking.

“But it just shows what a close-knit community it is.”

The residents of Kingshurst was praised at Prime Minister’s Questions along with emergency services staff who responded.

Saqib Bhatti, Conservative MP for Meriden, told the Commons those who he represents had suffered “an unimaginable tragedy” and the families were in his thoughts and prayers.

He asked the PM to join him in paying tribute to the community that had “come together and is supporting each other to get through this tragedy”.

“And will you recognise the heroic efforts of the emergency services, including the police officer who used his bare hands to try and break through the ice and then jumped in the water with fire service personnel, without the PPE, risking their own lives to save the young children?” he said.

Rishi Sunak paid tribute to the families and friends of the boys and paid tribute to the emergency services for “their incredibly selfless actions”.

Finlay Butler, eight, his brother Sam Butler, six

Thomas Stewart, 11, cousin to Finlay and Sam

Ten-year-old Jack Johnson

A young schoolgirl recalls moment she tried to use a branch in bid to save boys from frozen Solihull lake.

Oliwia Szewc, 13, from Kingshurst, told ITV News Central she tore off a branch from a tree and held it out for them to grab on to.

At the time, she was meeting her friend at Babbs Mill Park on Sunday evening when they saw the boys struggling after falling into the icy water.

“I saw two boys in the water, I couldn’t see the rest of them,” she said.

“I’m guessing most of them already fell into the lake.

“I was just shocked and panicked because I didn’t know what I could do. Me and my friend have never really been in a situation like that before.”

She saw the two boys about five or six meters out into the lake, and heard another at the scene mention that the boys couldn’t swim.

As her friend called 999, she tried looking around for ways she could help: “I was just trying to find branches of trees and try to pass to them but they were all too short.

“I was just trying my best to think of different ways to at least help them or do anything for them to float on the surface of the water so they wouldn’t drown.

“I was thinking, what would be able to pull them back to the shore? And then I just looked at a tree and I was like, that’s it. I should just get a branch I try. I got the branch, but it was too short.”

Oliwia discovered that they would have to wait for the emergency services to arrive, however on standby was a man, who she thinks was one of the boys’ relative.

“He jumped into the frozen lake and cut up his legs but couldn’t really do anything because he was putting his own life at risk.

“He didn’t go any farther because the police held him back.”

When the police got there, Oliwia recalls seeing one of the officers trying to break through the ice.

“A mother from one of the children arrived and then most of the police officers went to go comfort her because she was just kind of in a panic and not knowing how to react.

“I know the police were breaking some of the ice off the lake.”

Oliwia was on the phone, with an 999 call handler to give directions.

“I was trying to describe the surroundings because I forgot the name of the lake. It was just the whole panic. I was still shocked.”

When paramedics arrived, they started to treat the boys who had been pulled from the water.

Oliwia and her friend gave their coats to wrap around the boys, in the hope to increase their temperature.

She said: “Ambulance workers were asking for jackets and coats to try to bring the boys, like, temperature back up.

“I gave my coat, my friend gave her jacket. We were just kind of praying that the boys would be all right.

“I was willing to give up anything just at least to save one of them.

“Knowing that one of them’s still in hospital is kind of a relief because I was at least able to help someone.

“It was just horrifying and I was just clueless because I tried to help but I couldn’t but I tried my best.”

Oliwia went back at school this week whilst being supported by West Midlands Police, who she has spoken to about what she saw.

Aston Villa's McGinn and Mings lay wreath for Solihull boys
Mings, McGinn and Eustace pay respect as six year old becomes fourth child to die after lake tragedy
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