'Sweet and innocent' Somali refugee girl, 12, one of three to drown in scorching temperatures leaving mum 'absolutely distraught'

A "SWEET" 12-year-old girl has become the third person to drown in just a few hours as the UK is hit with scorching temperatures.

The schoolgirl, named locally as Somalian refugee Shukri Yahya Abdi, was tragically found in the River Irwell in Greater Manchester last night.

Underwater search teams had been called in about 8pm, sadly discovering the young girl's body after a four hour search.

It came just hours after two men, aged 25 and 26, tragically died yesterday after being pulled from the water at Babbacombe beach yesterday in Devon.

The pair were reportedly thrown from a jetski, with the RNLI lifeboat rushing to the scene.

They were both taken to Torbay Hospital but police have confirmed they have both died.

The Saharan bubble heatwave continues to grip the UK, with temperatures yesterday reaching highs of 28C.

Very hot conditions are predicted for the east of England with "temperatures threatening June UK records" the Met Office said.

Uncle Mustaf Omar, said the schoolgirl's mum was "in pieces" by the tragedy.

He said: "Shukri was a sweet, innocent child who came to this country as a refugee. She was new to the community from Somalia.

"She was loving, caring and peaceful – everything a child could be – but that has been taken away now. "The whole family are in shock."


Fire fighters today revealed how they had desperately launched a search of the river after the schoolgirl disappeared under the water in Greater Manchester.

Steve Wilcock, watch manager at the nearby Bury Fire station, said the teenager was with two other 12-year-old girls – and no adults – when the tragedy occurred.

The distressed youngsters alerted the emergency services after they saw their friend disappear in the water.

Watch manager Wilcock added: "Our crews did take some risks last night by entering the river – what surprised them was the depth of the water, on this stretch it might look only 8 to 10ft deep but it actually well over 20ft deep – and the recent rain made it flow more strongly than usual.

"This means it can be a situation where when you realise you’re in trouble, you’re already in serious trouble.

"It’s a message for parents really – your children might tell you one thing but you need to know where your kids are and what they are doing, or it could happen to you."

Specially trained officers have since been called in to help the family of the 12-year-old girl who drowned.

Detective Inspector Andrew Naismith, of GMP’s Bury district, said: “This is an incredibly tragic incident in which a young girl has lost her life, and my thoughts are with her family at this devastating time.

“We have a team of detectives working on this, but there are not believed to be any suspicious circumstances at this time.

“With the warmer weather, it’s tempting to go into the water to cool off, but I’d like to remind everyone of the dangers of playing near or swimming in rivers, lakes and reservoirs and would strongly urge against this.”

Anyone with information about the death of the 12-year-old girl should contact 0161 856 8172 quoting reference number 2154 of 27/06/19.

You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Anyone with information about the death of the two men in Devon is asked to contact police on 101 quoting log 552 of Thursday 27 June.

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