Three British boys were discovered dead after falling into an icy lake, Babbs Mill Lake, which is a nature preserve near Solihull, east Birmingham in central England on Sunday afternoon.
According to reports, the fourth child was in a critical stage after police jumped into the frigid water to rescue him following receiving an emergency call.
The dead children aged 8, 10 and 11 were seen walking on the ice shortly before they fell through, according to New York Post.
The fourth child in the hospital was a 6-year-old. Their names were not published by the UK authorities.
Their motive for being on the lake was not immediately clear, and it was unknown if they were under adult supervision at the time, the report added.
All of them suffered cardiac arrest from the freezing water and were rushed to the hospital, but three could not be revived.
Temperatures in the area were around 34 degrees at the time of the incident and dropped to 26 degrees overnight.
“The boys’ deaths are a tragedy beyond words,” Richard Stanton, a representative of the local fire and rescue service, said at a news conference Monday.
“Yesterday’s incident is a stark reminder to us all of the dangers of open water, especially during the winter months. Frozen lakes, ponds, canals and reservoirs can look picturesque, but they can be lethal.”
Emergency workers searched through the night and into Monday for two other children under the age of 12 who were reportedly with the group, though it was uncertain whether there were additional victims.
“It’s important to stress…we’ve had no contact from anybody suggesting there’s anybody else missing, but until we’re 100% certain we will be carrying on searches throughout the course of today,″ West Midlands Police Superintendent Richard Harris said.
First responders were called to the scene just after 2:30 pm local time Sunday, and media reported that bystanders had gone into the water to try to help the boys.