'Heartbreaking' | 

Dublin Fire Brigade warn people to stay off ice after Solihull lake tragedy

Three young boys have died after falling through a frozen lake in Solihull yesterday

Maeve McTaggartSunday World

Irish people have been warned to stay off frozen bodies of water as temperatures drop this week following the tragic deaths of three children near Birmingham.

It is understood that four young boys were playing on ice that had formed over a frozen lake in Solihull yesterday when they fell through into the icy water.

Three of the children have died while a fourth boy (6) remains in critical condition in hospital.

Dublin Fire Brigade have now urged people to be cautious in the aftermath of what happened in the UK.

“Absolutely tragic and heartbreaking news coming from Birmingham,” they said on Twitter.

“Please stay off canals, lakes or rivers that may be iced over. It will not hold your weight. Please make your young people aware of this fact.”

In an update on Monday morning, West Midlands Police said: "Three boys have tragically died after falling into the lake at Babbs Mill Park in Solihull yesterday afternoon.

"The boys, aged 11, 10 and eight, were rushed to hospital after being pulled from the water.

"Sadly, they could not be revived and our thoughts are with their family and friends at this deeply devastating time. We'll have specialist officers offering them as much support as we can.

"A fourth boy, aged six, remains in a critical condition in hospital."

Police added that searches of the lake are continuing to establish whether anyone else fell into the water, following reports that as many as six children may have been involved.

Temperatures are thought to have plunged to 1C in the area at the time of the incident, falling to -3C overnight.

The warning from Dublin Fire Brigade comes as Irish people brace for the ‘great freeze’ of the week ahead, with some reports stating temperatures could drop as low as -10C by Friday.

Met Éireann has issued a new Status Orange freezing fog warning for most counties from noon until midnight today as Ireland gets hits with an Arctic blast of cold weather.

A significant number of schools are set to close as principals are being advised to make safety decisions based on local snow and ice conditions, despite the Government opting not to enforce a blanket national closure order.

“We’re asking people to be careful and to be aware that the temperatures are to be cold. We might see temperatures of -10C over the next couple of days. We want to make sure people keep themselves warm and safe,” said Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien.

“There’s a positive update from Eirgrid and Gas Networks Ireland today that supply is stable. We have a detailed update from energy suppliers, there’s no risk to the energy supply. But people should keep themselves warm.”

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