On Monday, three children tragically died after falling into a lake covered with thin ice, according to local authorities. A fourth child is also in critical condition after the tragedy.
Three boys were pulled from the lake in Solihull, all in critical condition, according to West Midlands Police in central England. The boys were aged 8, 10, and 11. After being rescued from the chilly waters, they were rushed to a local hospital. They were pronounced dead upon arrival.
“Sadly, they could not be revived,” police posted in a touching Facebook post.
Moreover, another child, 6 years old, remains in critical condition at a hospital on Monday.
At the moment, authorities haven’t released information about how exactly the boys ended up in the water.
“Searches of the lake are continuing as we seek to establish exactly what happened and if anyone else fell into the water,” police posted on Facebook. “We understand how distressing this is for the families and the wider community.”
The police continued updating the public and trying to console the community through social media posts.
“Our thoughts are with their family and friends at this devastating time,” police posted on Twitter.
Plenty of users from across the globe commented on the West Midlands Facebook post. “So tragic. Thoughts with the families of those poor children. So heartbreaking,” one user wrote.
Wildlife Officials Warn Those Responding to Thin Ice Emergency Not to Run to Hole
Others shared their grief with the families of the victims. “I cried for these babies today,” one user wrote. “As a mother of boys this hit hard. To the parents my heart breaks for you, to the emergency services thank you for doing all you could to give these boys a chance.”
Officials urge all people that ice, no matter thin ice or not, is never guaranteed to be completely safe to walk across.
Most officials recommend that ice should be at least 4 inches thick if planning on walking across a frozen pond or lake. Also, the ice must be clear and blue, as well.
A local Massachusetts fire department recently released a list of things to know while on icy lakes or ponds.
The department also warned that if using an ATV or a snowmobile to cross a pond or lake, you need to also make sure the thickness of the ice is safe across the entire lake. This is because ice doesn’t always freeze with the same thickness across a surface.
Officials urge people responding to a thin ice emergency not to run to or crowd the hole. They instruct to call 911 and then grab a pole, tree branch, or rope to try to save the victim. Oftentimes, rescuers can then become victims in these circumstances by falling through the ice.
However, they said that if you happen to fall through the ice, it’s important to kick your feet while keeping your hands and arms up out of the water. The department also tells victims to ensure they call out for help.