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Teenager dies after falling into a canal in Rochdale

The family of a 13 year-old boy who died after falling in a Canal are urging parents to talk to their children about water safety.

Rafael Pizarro fell into the canal near Lock 62 of the Rochdale Canal on Sunday 6th June. He was taken to hospital, but died in early hours of this morning.

Rafael Pizarro died after falling in a canal in Rochdale Credit: Family handout

Today his family have been paying tribute to him.

''We are devastated with the loss of Rafael and are lost for words. It is hard to comprehend what has happened over the last week.

Rafael had a big impact on his family and friends and was much loved and we will truly miss him.

Out of this tragedy we are comforted to know that's his organ donation will help others in Manchester and across the country.''

– Rafael Pizarro's family

There was also a message for other parents.

As a family we would urge all parents to talk to their children around water safety so no other family have to go through what we are dealing with. We would ask for privacy at this time to grieve.

– Rafael Pizarro's family
Rafael Pizarro fell in the water in the canal near Lock 62 of the Rochdale Canal Credit: MEN Syndication

Police say there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the 13 year-old's death.

Rafael’s death is believed to be a tragic accident and the case will now be passed to the coroner for progression.

My thoughts are with Rafael’s family and friends as well as his school colleague’s at this terrible and sad time.

I would urge people, especially children, to take care around the water and try not to swim anywhere other than supervised swimming pools.

– Detective Inspector Kate Atton, GMP

OBE for head of Rochdale's 'outstanding' sixth form college

Julian Appleyard, principal of Rochdale Sixth Form College. Credit: Rochdale Sixth Form College

The principal of Rochdale Sixth Form College has been awarded the OBE in the Queen's birthday honours.

Julian Appleyard will be presented with the award in recognition of services to the education sector.

Mr Appleyard became the principal of the college in 2009. Since then it has been rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted.

"I thought it was a wind up but it's truly humbling.

"My honour is testament to the superb team I have at the college."

– Julian Appleyard



Chester school latest to be evacuated in bomb scare

Blacon High School on Melbourne Road Credit: Google Maps

A school in Chester has been evacuated after receiving what police have called a 'hoax' call.

Officers attended Blacon High School on Melbourne Road investigating the call made to the school this morning. Shortly after 11.30am on Monday 23 May police attended the school to provide reassurance and a search was made of the premises by officers and staff.

We would like to reassure the community that this is a hoax call and following a search the children were allowed back in to continue their school day.

– Insp Andy Ross said:

A spokeswoman at Blacon High School confirmed that no exams had been disrupted by this morning's incident.

The news comes after two schools in Rochdale were evacuated in very similar circumstances this morning.

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