HEROIC ACT Dad of missing boy, 2, jumped into River Soar in desperate attempt to rescue toddler as search continues

THE dad of a missing two-year-old boy jumped into the River Soar in a desperate attempt to rescue the toddler.

The child had been with family when he fell into the river in Leicester and has yet to be located.

A family member jumped into the River Soar to rescue a two-year-old boy
A family member jumped into the River Soar to rescue a two-year-old boy
A search operation underway on the flooded fields in Leicester
A search operation underway on the flooded fields in LeicesterCredit: PA

The operation is ongoing and will continue with "additional specialist teams" on Monday morning, the force said.

Emergency services attended the scene just after 5pm and a search and rescue operation began in Aylestone Meadows, close to Marsden Lane.

Police said a man was taken to hospital "as a precautionary measure".

The child's family are being supported by specialist officers.

Leicestershire Police said: "Our thoughts are with them at this extremely difficult time.

"We have had a number of offers of support to assist with the search and would kindly ask that people do not attend the scene due to rising water levels and safety risks.

"If anyone has any information or comes across anything that may assist officers, they are asked to contact us immediately."

A long-standing resident whose home overlooks Aylestone Meadows said flooding from the River Soar in recent weeks had left parts of the nature reserve in a treacherous state.

She said a helicopter had initially flown over the area for around an hour after reports a two-year-old child had gone missing and may have fallen in the river.

The resident told reporters: "It seemed to be there for a long time hovering.

"It felt as if it was above my house. The lights were on and it didn't move for about an hour or so."

The woman, who walks regularly in the area, said a nearby canal and the river sometimes "go into one" during peak flooding periods.

"It's fast flowing," she said of current conditions. "It's been quite bad.

"It's devastating to think how they (family members) must be feeling."

People are asked to contact 999 with information quoting incident 476:180224.

Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service said police were leading the operation.

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