1. ITV Report

Baby boy pulled from River Irwell named locally as Zakari Bennett


A baby boy pulled from the River Irwell in Greater Manchester has been named locally as Zakari Bennett.

Police were called shortly before 4.25pm on Wednesday September 11, to reports that a child was in the river near to Blackburn Street.

Emergency services - including a police helicopter - immediately attended and the baby boy was pulled from the water and taken to hospital.

The boy, who is believed to have been 11-months-old, died a short time later.

Floral tributes are left on a bridge in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester. Credit: ITV Granada Reports

A 22-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and remains in custody for questioning.

A scene is still in place on Blackburn Street, at the junctions with Stand Lane and Radcliffe New Road, whilst further enquiries are carried out by specialist officers this morning.

A police cordon in place on Peel Street in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester following the death of a baby boy in hospital after being rescued from the River Irwell. Credit: PA

Detective Inspector Wes Knights, who is leading the investigation on behalf of the Major Incident Team, said:

This is an incredibly tragic incident which has taken the life of a baby boy, who we believe is only around 11-months-old. His family have understandably been left devastated by what has happened and we have specially trained officers providing them with support at this difficult time.

We currently have a suspect in custody, who will be questioned by detectives later today, however our investigation does not stop there and we need anybody with information to come forward and help us get answers for this little boy’s loved ones.

A balloon is tied on a bridge in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester. Credit: ITV Granada Reports

Detectives are urging any witnesses to get in touch as a matter of urgency and are particularly keen for anyone with images or videos which show the incident or the immediate aftermath.

We know that there were a significant number of witnesses to what happened and I want to urge those people to come forward and provide us with as much detail as they can.

It’s also possible that other people may have information about the circumstances leading up to the incident, as we know the baby had been in the area for a number of hours beforehand.

Given the time this happened and the large number of witnesses present, we know that some of the incident was captured in images or on video so I want ask people to provide these to the investigation team, via Dropbox.

We appreciate that the incident has caused a lot of concern locally, which is understandable, but I would ask that people please refrain from speculating on social media about the circumstances and who may or may not have been involved, as this is still a live criminal investigation.

  • Anyone with information should call police on 0161 856 8797 or 101 quoting incident number 1930 of 11/09/2019, or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
  • Anybody with images or video of the incident can send them to police via Dropbox using scd.cctv@gmp.police.

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