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Three children die in frozen lake in UK



(London) Three children have died after falling into a frozen lake in central England, hit by a severe cold spell with heavy snowfall and frost which has disrupted transport, particularly around London.

Aged eight, 10 and 11, these three boys who had been rescued Sunday afternoon in cardiac arrest by the rescuers in a lake in Solihull, near Birmingham, “could not be resuscitated”, indicated Monday the West Midlands Police.

A fourth boy, aged six, who had been rescued at the same time as them, is still “in critical condition in hospital”, she said.

“As you can imagine, the families are completely broken down. Being so close to Christmas […] adds to the tragedy,” said Richard Harris of West Midlands Police at a press briefing.

The search is continuing to ensure there are no other victims as witness accounts have indicated there could have been up to six people who fell into the water.

“We have not been contacted by anyone suggesting anyone else is missing, but until we are 100% sure we will continue the search throughout the day,” Mr. Harris.

This incident “reminds us of the dangers” of bodies of water during the winter, also underlined the head of the local firefighters Richard Stanton during this same press briefing.

“Frozen lakes, ponds, canals and reservoirs may look lovely, but they can be deadly,” he added, calling on families to remind children of the “dangers of ice […] to prevent this from happening again”.

The UK has been experiencing a particularly intense cold snap for several days, with temperatures dropping as low as -15.6 degrees Celsius in Braemar, central Scotland.

“Coldest Night”

The night from Sunday to Monday was “the coldest night since the start of the year”, said the National Weather Service (Met Office), which issued yellow alert bulletins for snow, fog and frost, particularly in the south-east and south-west of the country, as well as the north of Scotland.

These bad weather conditions created major transport disruptions in several regions, including the capital.

Stansted (north London) and Gatwick (south) airports had to close their runways overnight from Sunday to Monday to clear them of snow and many flights were canceled.

Dozens of passengers stranded at airports in the British capital have posted videos on social media showing take-off runways covered in snow, planes stuck on the ground.

Car traffic was also badly disrupted on the main roads around London, with major congestion due to snow and ice on the roads, while rail passengers also suffered major delays and cancellations.

Some schools also remained closed on Monday morning.

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