Family identifies girl, 12, who drowned in river during hot spell

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A 12-year-old girl who drowned in a river has been identified by relatives.

On Friday, relatives of Shukri Yahya Abdi visited the River Irwell in Bury, where she drowned on Thursday evening.

Her uncle Mustaf Omar told the BBC: “She was a sweet, innocent child. She stayed home all the time, she helped her mum out 24/7.”

(PA Graphics)

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.”

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service watch manager Steve Wilcock said the girl had been with two friends.

He said: “When the crews arrived on the scene, there were two other children who had seen their friend disappear in the river.”

Mr Wilcock said the river was more than 20ft deep in parts.

He added: “I would really emphasise to children not to play out in open waterways.

“We would also say to parents, know where your children are, know what they are doing.”

This weekend, a short hot spell will see the mercury climb across the country, mirroring the heatwave blasting much of Europe.

According to the Met Office, the temperature could reach a maximum of 34C (93.2F) in London and the east of England on Saturday.

Across Europe, hot Saharan winds have brought scorching weather with temperatures in some parts exceeding 40C (104F).

Meteorologists put more than half of France on alert for high temperatures, while in Germany rescue services urged people to look out for young children, the elderly and others at risk in hot conditions.

Summing up the UK weather for Friday, Greg Dewhurst, a Met Office meteorologist said: “It’s a bit of a cloudy start across some eastern parts of the country but this will soon clear and we’re looking at a sunny day for much of the UK.”

Mr Dewhurst said weather conditions will see an “east west split” with the highest temperatures in the west and an easterly breeze cooling the other half of the country.

Temperatures in Wales and the west country, including festival-goers at Glastonbury, could see temperatures of 30 or 31C on Friday.

After a humid Friday night, Mr Dewhurst said on Saturday the highest temperatures will be in the east, with a maximum of 34C possible in an area covering London and up towards Lincolnshire.

“We will see the hottest day of the year so far,” said Mr Dewhurst.

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