Page last updated at 11:34 GMT, Sunday, 8 February 2009

Boy, six, dies following ice fall

The lake near Red Lane
Local residents tried to reach the boy but the ice was too thick

A six-year-old boy has died after falling through ice into a fishing pond near Pontefract on Saturday.

The child and another boy, aged 12, had been on the ice near Red Lane in Streethouse when it cracked, sending them both into the water below.

The older boy was pulled from the pond, but the six-year-old had to be recovered by fire service divers.

He was airlifted to Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield, but was pronounced dead at 1905 GMT.

The 12-year-old was taken to the same hospital where he is believed to be well but suffering from the effects of the cold water.

People were jumping on the ice, trying to break it and get through
David Powell

Local residents tried to reach the boys after another child raised the alarm at about 1420 GMT.

David Powell, whose eight-year-old son had been at the pond when the ice broke, said: "When we arrived I didn't know there were two boys.

"I could see one holding on to something above the surface of the water and my thought was relief that he was OK.

"Then I realised there was a second boy. People were obviously trying to get him out, with tree branches and jumpers tied together.

"People were jumping on the ice, trying to break it and get through but it was really thick. Once you got under there would be no way you could get back."

Tributes have been left at the scene

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service sent 35 rescuers to the scene where they found the 12-year-old clinging to a block of ice on the surface.

He was pulled from the water while six officers in diving gear waded into the pond to reach the younger boy.

Station manager Rick Hemmingway was one of the crew who attended.

He said: "Obviously for anyone who has children it is a very difficult situation.

"The firefighters themselves showed their professionalism and went into the water solely to find the little boy."

Police continued to patrol the area around the pond overnight.

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