Police witness appeal after Burnley toddler found in canal

POLICE are appealing for information after a two-and-a-half year old boy was taken to Manchester Children’s Hospital in a critical condition after being found face down in the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, Burnley, yesterday afternoon.

The boy was walking with his mum from the Colne Road area to another nearby address when he is reported to have run off along Pheasant Ford Green sometime after 5.05pm.

Bank Hall Park canal inlet where the two-year-old boy was found.

Bank Hall Park canal inlet where the two-year-old boy was found.

Police were alerted shortly after 5.30pm and a search of the area was launched immediately. Sadly, however, the boy was found face down in the canal at Pit Top Park by a Police Community Support Officer around 20 minutes later.

He was pulled from the water by the officer who called the ambulance and carried out CPR. He was then taken by air ambulance to the Royal Blackburn Hospital and later transferred to Manchester Children’s Hospital where he is said to be very poorly.

Police are investigating the circumstances of what has happened and are appealing to anyone who saw a little boy matching his description, either alone or with his mum between 5pm and 5.50pm in the Colne Road, Pheasantford Green and Pit Top Park areas to come forward.

The boy is described as being Asian with short dark hair and was wearing a grey T-shirt, black trousers and white shoes.

He was with his mum, who is also Asian and aged 25, of medium build with long dark hair and was wearing dark-coloured traditional Asian clothing and a head scarf.

DI Marie Haworth from Burnley Police said: “This is a tragic incident and we’re working hard to piece together exactly how this toddler has come to be in the water.

“Monday was a nice sunny day and between 5pm and 5.50pm I am confident there would have been many people in the area travelling home from work, feeding the ducks or walking their dogs.

“We are appealing for witnesses in the area at the time who may have seen the little boy on his own or with his mum.

“At this stage we are keeping an open mind about how this little boy has ended up in the canal and that is why I am appealing to anyone who has seen him to contact the police.

“It is obviously an extremely difficult time for the family and we have specially trained officer there to support them.”