More than 2,000 signatures call for safety measures as toddler dies after falling into canal

Emergency services were called to the canal side at 2pm on Saturday
Emergency services were called to the canal side on Saturday afternoonCredit: Google images

More than two thousand people have signed a petition calling for new safety measures after a three-year-old boy fell into a canal and died in Newbury.

Thames Valley Police said the child and his mother were rescued from the Kennet and Avon Canal, close to the A339 on Saturday.

Emergency services were called to the scene, near Ash Bridge, at about 2pm and recovered the pair from the water.

Emergency services on the canal bridge in NewburyCredit: Nicole Baddeley

They were taken to hospital for treatment, where the little boy sadly died.

The mother has since been discharged from hospital and the family is being supported by specially-trained officers.

Police said their “thoughts are with the child’s family at this incredibly difficult time.”

The death is being treated as unexplained but not suspicious, and a file is being prepared for the coroner.

Thames Valley Police said it was not currently in a position to release the child’s identity.

Councillor Lynne Doherty, Leader of the West Berkshire Council released a statement:

“Our deepest condolences and thoughts go out to the family at this heart-breaking time.

 This incident seems to have occurred near to Ash Bridge next to the sluice on the canal.  There is a public footpath and (according to land registry) the land and sluice are owned by the Canal and River Trust.

 This is a tragic incident which will be fully investigated by the emergency services. We will work with the Police and the Canal and River Trust to fully understand what happened and how future incidents could be prevented.

 At this moment in time we are not aware of any similar incidents or near misses at this location but anything we can do to increase awareness of water safety will be looked into with the Canal and River Trust.”

The Canal and River Trust released this statement.

“We are shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life of a three year old child in the River Kennet in Newbury at the weekend. Our thoughts and sympathies are with the family at this incredibly sad time. The Canal & River Trust will assist the police in any way we can with their investigation.

 “We recognise and share the depth of local concerns reflected in the petition and will work with local partners, including the council, to undertake an investigation and make improvements where possible.  At the moment we don’t yet know the full details and circumstances which led to such a tragic death.  It will be important to work with the police and others to fully understand the circumstances as part of the process.”

Source – ITV News

Mark Lambert
Author: Mark Lambert



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