Call for fences next to canal as four-year-old boy dies after water fall

Neighbours have been left in shock after a young boy died when he fell into a canal in Walsall.

Tributes at the spot where a four-year-old boy drowned off Razorbill Way, Harden, Walsall
Tributes at the spot where a four-year-old boy drowned off Razorbill Way, Harden, Walsall

The boy, aged four, was pulled out of the canal in the Harden area by police officers on Friday afternoon but could not be saved.

The boy died after falling into the Wyrley and Essington Canal in an area - where there are no fences next to the water at Swannies Field just off Razorbill Way.

The area is regularly used as a play area by children and is right next to a playground which is surrounded by a fence.

Nearby residents were in mourning at the news on Friday evening, with some not wishing to speak due to still being in shock.

However, one mother of two said the lack of fences around the canal meant children were regularly in danger.

Police at the scene in Harden, Walsall. Photo: SnapperSK

The woman, who gave her name as Kinga, said: “I woke up and saw a heavy police presence and thought there must have been a car accident, the someone told me someone had fallen into the canal.

“I am worried about my children.

“It is very scary, I just don’t know how something like that could happen.

“I know if I say to my older one to not go near, she won’t but my younger one, I worry.

“I will not let my kids anywhere near the canal, as there, it is not safe.

“The canal is dangerous, there needs to be a fence around it.

“Right now, it is cold and not many kids are playing.

“But in the summertime, they are all playing around there, sitting near the water.

“It needs a high fence around it so a child is not able to climb.”

Police at the scene in Harden, Walsall. Photo: SnapperSK

Blakenall ward councillor Pete Smith said: "This terrible tragedy that has occurred has shocked me as a local councillor and residents of the Waterskeep estate and the wider Blakenall community. Our collective thoughts are with this four-year-old boy's family.

"There is a stretch of the canal which is unfenced and very close to a children's play area and a couples of metres from properties.

"I am in the process of ascertaining which organisation is responsible for fencing off this open aspect to the canal. It may be Whg, it may be the canal trust, it may be the council but I am sure there will now be calls if not demands that the canal should be fenced off on the side where properties and a play area is located."

The corner where the child fell into the water remained cordoned off until early on Friday evening, with local children back using the playground at dusk.

The area is in the redeveloped area at what used to be Shakespeare Crescent.

Police officers were guarding the scene while photographs were taken, after an air ambulance was called and the child was rushed to Birmingham Children's Hospital in vain.

Another nearby resident said they were scared of learning who the victim was, in fear of knowing the family.

The canal is next to a children's play area

They said: “What do you say, it is awful and heartbreaking.

“I have nothing to add, I am terrified it may be someone I know.”

A West Midlands Police spokesman said: "A child has tragically died after falling into a canal.

"We were alerted to the four-year-old boy being in the water, off Razorbill Way, at around 12.15pm.

"He was pulled out of the canal by police officers and despite efforts to revive him he was confirmed dead shortly after arriving at hospital.

"There are no suspicious circumstances and our thoughts are with his family, and the rest of the community, at this deeply distressing time."

Most Read

Most Read

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News