UK: Vigil held for 3 boys who died after falling in icy lake

LONDON (AP) — Dozens of mourners have left teddy bears and held a candlelight vigil for three boys who died after falling into an ice-covered lake near Birmingham in central England.

Emergency workers, including a police officer who tried to punch through the ice to get to the children, pulled them from the water Sunday afternoon and rushed them to the hospital in the West Midlands, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) north of London. But the boys, ages 8, 10 and 11, could not be revived after suffering cardiac arrest.

A fourth boy, who is 6 years old, remained hospitalized in critical condition Tuesday. Police said officers would continue searching the water, although no one else was reported missing.

During Monday’s vigil in Kingshurst, a neighborhood near Babbs Mill Lake, mourners placed lit candles and added flowers, toys and teddies to a sea of tributes at a makeshift shrine.

Marcus Brain, chair of the governing board for one of the boys’ schools, told the BBC the close-knit community was struggling to process the tragedy.

“Everybody I’ve spoken to… are in an utter state of shock,” he said.

The boys fell through ice covering the lake as snow and ice blanketed much of the U.K. and the country recorded its coldest night of the year so far.

Scores of schools closed for a second day Tuesday, for reasons including heating failure, burst pipes and snow and ice.

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