One of the boys who died after falling into a frozen lake has been named as 10-year-old Jack Johnson. The incident took place at 2.30pm on Sunday at Babbs Mill Park in Solihull. Jack was taken to hospital alongside three other boys – aged eight, 10, and 11 – who all arrived in a critical condition after suffering cardiac arrests. Jack and two other boys tragically died, while the six-year-old remains in critical condition in hospital.
A neighbour told MailOnline that Jack and the other children were “playing on top of the frozen lake when the ice cracked.” A photo shows him with his father and sister.
They said: “Jack and the other lads saw that it had been snowing from the flats and wanted to go and play.
“They rushed across to the park and were playing on top of the frozen lake, when the ice cracked.
“It’s so tragic. Jack was a lovely lad. I know his dad Kirk. He is devastated. My heart goes out to him.”
Dozens of local people, including many schoolchildren, placed bunches of flowers in tribute to the three boys at the base of a tree near the northern entrance to Babbs Mill nature park this morning.
Among the tributes was one from West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, with a card attached reading: “Such a tragedy. My heart goes out to the families who have lost their most precious gift.
“May their young lives rest in peace and may Kingshurst come together to remember them.”
Local woman Katie O’Driscoll, who was accompanied by her five-year-old daughter, also placed flowers at the site.
READ MORE: Heartbroken firefighters lay flowers for boys who died in icy lake
The mother of four said: “Anyone that has got kids can really relate to that we feel heartbroken as a community. The whole community cares – they will be kids that we know because we are a close-knit community. It’s affected everybody. It’s devastating and it’s sad.”
Marcus Brain, the chairman of the board of governors at nearby St Anthony’s School, told Birmingham Live: “One of our children has passed away. I have spoken to the family but I’m doing the communication through the school.”
Relatives of the dead boys visited the lake yesterday but were too upset to talk. One wrote on Facebook: “Life really can get taken away at any moment. Hug your little and loved ones that extra bit tighter tonight. Absolutely devastated for my family.”
According to witnesses, two of the boys had walked on the frozen surface as concerned adults yelled at them to get off.
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The governor added: “The staff are absolutely devastated. The lad was a lovely boy. Everybody is in bits. We’re all in shock, what’s happened is unbelievable.”
The boys who died did not all attend the same school, according to reports.
At a press conference today, Superintendent Richard Harris, of West Midlands Police, appeared emotional as he told how an officer had to be treated for mild hypothermia after trying to punch through the ice to save the boys.
“One of my officers was trying to punch through the ice to rescue the children themselves,” he said.