2 children still missing after falling in Solihull frozen lake

Babbs Mill Lake, Birmingham, UK

Specialist equipment is being shipped to Babbs Mill Park as police, fire and ambulance services continue to search after reports of ‘six children falling into a frozen lake’. Four children were rescued from the water but West Midlands Fire Service said there were thought to be two more in the water when they arrived on scene.

Specialist equipment is en route to Solihull to help with the search – however, the fire service confirmed at this stage it was no longer a search and rescue operation, six hours after they were called to the group in the frozen lake. The four children rescued from Babbs Mills suffered cardiac arrest.

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.

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.

We will release further details when appropriate with our fellow blue-light partners.

“Given the temperature of the water and given the age of those believed to have entered the water and also the amount of time they have been in there, this would no longer be a search and rescue operation.”

When asked about the prospect of two more children in the water, he responded: “That is the advice that we have been given from our colleagues in the ambulance service.”

An ambulance service spokesman said: “Unfortunately, the children in the water were in cardiac arrest and were being given advanced life support.”


Richard Harris, West Midlands Police superintendent, said specialist equipment had been called for to help the search in the dark hours. He said: “We are going to hold the scene tonight and there will be police presence while we ensure, just in case there was anyone else that might have been involved.

“We will keep you advised of any further information as the investigation progresses.”

He added: “We have specialist equipment en route to the scene, with people, so we will continue throughout the course of the night. “I can’t confirm we are looking for anyone else at this stage but we will continue to search.”

Supt Harris said West Midlands Police was not aware of members of the public going into the lake. He also revealed there was an officer suffering from hyperthermia as a result of the earlier stages of the search.

He said: “One of our officers suffered some mild hyperthermia but I am pleased to say is making a full recovery but yes he went to hospital as a precaution.”

St Anthony’s Primary in Kingshurst tweeted that it would be shut today, Monday, December 12, because of the incident.

It tweeted: “School will be closed for pupils tomorrow due to the incident at Babbs Mill. Please keep all those affected in your prayers at this difficult time.”

Two members of the public have laid a bouquet of flowers at the foot of a tree off Forbridge Road. They were said to be close family friends.

There has no been no further updates from West Midlands Police on the children who were pulled out of the lake and those missing.

Karen Grinsell, Deputy Leader of Solihull Council, said: “We were kept in touch when the news broke yesterday afternoon. We didn’t want to come and interfere with the search and rescue.

“Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the youngsters involved. We have to thank the emergency services that were on the scene instantly and the people that went into the water, putting their lives at risk.

“We are waiting for news now, which we won’t get until 10am as to the whole investigation and the status of the youngsters in hospital. This will have a huge impact on the community.”

The search and rescue effort has been underway since the incident unfolded yesterday afternoon. West Midlands Fire Service has been joined by divers from Nottinghamshire.

Locals have been supporting the immense emergency services effort by providing refreshments and food.


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