Four children in hospital after being pulled from Solihull lake

Four children were taken to hospital in cardiac arrest after falling through the ice on a lake in Solihull, emergency services have said.

West Midlands police said emergency services are continuing a search and rescue operation at Babbs Mill Park in Kingshurst in the town on Sunday.

At a press conference in Birmingham, West Midlands fire service area commander, Richard Stanton, said reports from the scene and social media indicated that “a number of children had been playing on the ice on a lake and had fallen through the ice”.

Cameron McVittie, a tactical commander with West Midlands ambulance service, said the four children were in cardiac arrest and are all receiving specialist care. Two are being treated at Birmingham children’s hospital and two at Heartlands hospital, also in the city.

McVittie said: “On being rescued, the four children were taken under blue lights to hospital with an advanced care team.

“Unfortunately, the children in the water were in cardiac arrest and were receiving advanced life support en route to hospital.

He added: “There are no updates. They are all in critical condition when they arrived in hospital.”


Supt Richard Harris, from West Midlands police, said officers went into the lake as well as first responders to rescue the children and look for anyone else. He added that one officer has mild hypothermia and went to hospital as a precaution.

Harris said: “Four children were rescued from the lake and subsequently taken to hospital.

“On behalf of West Midlands police we understand how distressing this is for families and the wider community and we are doing everything we can to support all those involved.”

Emergency services were made aware that up to six people may have been in the water, with specialist rescue teams set to continue searching the lake overnight.

In an earlier statement, the fire service said: “At 2.36pm on Sunday 11 December, West Midlands fire service, along with West Midlands ambulance service and West Midlands police, were called to Babbs Mill Park in Solihull.

“Reports from the scene and videos on social media indicate that people had been playing on the ice on a pond and had fallen through. Our specialist water rescue teams arrived and acted assertively to take control of the scene and carry out rescues using specialist equipment and entering the water.

“Casualties have received medical support at the scene from both firefighters and ambulance personnel prior to being taken to nearby hospitals.

Police at the scene in Babbs Mill Park. Photograph: Jacob King/PA

“The incident is still a search and rescue operation, being led by West Midlands fire service. We would ask people to allow emergency services at the scene to go about their work in a safe and effective way.”

West Midlands police tweeted earlier: “We are currently at the scene of a serious incident at Babbs Mill Park, Fordbridge Road, Kingshurst, Solihull.

“A number of people have been pulled from a lake and are being transported to hospital. They are believed to be in a critical condition.

“We are working with @WestMidsFire and @OFFICIALWMAS at the scene and will provide further updates in due course.”

Babbs Mill Park is a local nature reserve with a lake, river, wildflower grasslands and woodlands.

The Midlands, areas of Scotland, south-western England north-western England and Wales were affected by snow and ice over the weekend.

A Met Office yellow warning for snow and ice was in place for much of Scotland, as well as parts of Wales and south-western England until noon on Sunday.

Two more snow and ice warnings are in place for the north of Scotland for 24 hours from noon and another for most of London and some of south-east England covering 6pm on Sunday to 9am on Monday.

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