Three boys aged eight, 10 and 11 have died after being pulled from an icy lake in Solihull.
A fourth boy, aged six, remains in a critical condition in hospital.
Members of the public and police officers initially went into the chilly waters to try to get the youngsters out, before the children were reached by specialist water rescue-trained firefighters who got the group to safety.
Those pulled from the water were given immediate life support by ambulance and fire service personnel before being rushed to two Birmingham hospitals; Birmingham Children’s and Heartlands, where they all arrived in critical condition.
In an update on Monday morning, West Midlands Police said: “Three boys have tragically died after falling into the lake at Babbs Mill Park in Solihull yesterday afternoon.
“The boys, aged 11, 10 and eight, were rushed to hospital after being pulled from the water.
“Sadly, they could not be revived and our thoughts are with their family and friends at this deeply devastating time. We’ll have specialist officers offering them as much support as we can.
“A fourth boy, aged six, remains in a critical condition in hospital.”
Police added that searches of the lake are continuing to establish whether anyone else fell into the water, following reports that as many as six children may have been involved.
Meriden MP Saqib Bhatti visited the scene at Babbs Mill lake on Monday, along with the leader of Solihull Council Ian Courts and deputy leader Karen Grinsell, with each praising emergency services for their heroic efforts to pull the children from the water.
The MP told reporters: “Clearly there is one officer who has mild hypothermia. In these conditions not to worry about your own safety and just to go after those children is heroic.
“The (search) operation went on all night in these really tough conditions.
“The whole community will be feeling the pain of this.”
And Cllr Courts said: “This is just about as bad as it gets… a dreadful situation.
“We are completely stunned at what’s happened.
“Clearly our thoughts and prayers have to be with the families in this situation. I can hardly imagine what the families are going through.”
Temperatures are thought to have plunged to 1C (34F) in the area at the time of the incident, falling to -3C (26F) overnight.