UK

Imie Harrison Canal Death: 'Six-Year-Old's Brother Tried To Rescue Her'

21/03/2013 07:09 GMT | Updated 21/03/2013 07:10 GMT

A young boy tried to rescue his six-year-old twin sister when she fell into a canal but could not reach her, it has been reported.

Imie Harrison died after being pulled from the water by police officers and a member of the public around 6pm on Tuesday.

Two other girls also ended up in the canal at Springfield Park near Wolverley Court Lock in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, but managed to get out.

One of the girls is believed to have jumped in after the others to help rescue them.

A witness told The Sun how Imie's twin brother had attempted to reach out to his sister before she disappeared under the water's surface.

Witness Ally Scott, 46, said: "One of my friends said the little boy had lain down across the towpath and tried to haul the girls out but couldn't reach his sister.

"He ran to his mother's house to get help."

He added that the twins' mother arrived after Imie had been pulled from the water and was heard screaming and hysterically crying.

Neighbour Jean Flanagan, 71, described the twins as "inseparable".

She told The Mirror: "The little girl used to play outside with her friends a lot. We would see her with her twin brother"

West Mercia Police said Imie was in the water for "some time" before she was rescued.

West Midlands Ambulance Service crews immediately worked to resuscitate the girl, who was in cardiac arrest, and then rode to hospital with her as she was airlifted by police helicopter.

She died a short while after arriving at Birmingham Children's Hospital.

The other two children were treated for hypothermia and taken to hospital, where they are expected to make a full recovery.

Superintendent Kevin Purcell, of West Mercia Police, said Imie's family had been left "devastated" by what appeared to be "an extremely tragic accident".

He said: "We are working hard to establish exactly how Imie came to be in the water.

"There were four children who went over to the canal to play.

"They are young children and all clearly traumatised by what has happened and it will take some considerable time to find out what went on."

Lawrence Gittins, headmaster of Imie's school, St John's Church of England Primary in Kidderminster, said everyone had been left "deeply saddened" by the girl's death.

"She was a much-loved and talented girl and we will miss her very much," he said.

"At this time our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Imie and all of the pupils and staff who knew her at school.

"We will offer all the support we possibly can to all those affected.

"Our focus now is to help family, friends and our whole community through this difficult time."

Yesterday flowers had been left at the scene of the accident with a card that read: "We will all miss you, little princess.

"You're up in the stars now.

"We all love you so much, you're safe now babe."

Supt Purcell said police would be working with partners including the council children's services department to support

children from Imie's school.

Gail Quinton, director of children's services at Worcestershire County Council, said: "The council will be working closely with the police to support the investigation and also the school, to support pupils and staff at this sad and difficult time."