West Berkshire Council is looking at “how future incidents could be prevented” after a three-year-old boy died following a tragic canal fall in Newbury.

The boy and his mother were rescued from the Kennet & Avon Canal, near a weir, at around 2pm on Saturday, March 13, and taken to hospital. The boy died later in hospital.

Thames Valley Police has not confirmed the circumstances around the incident, but said the death is being treated as “unexplained but not suspicious”.

Over 2,000 people have since signed a petition calling for West Berkshire Council to set up “a strong barrier” at that section of the canal “to prevent accidents like this happening in the future”.

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The council says it is working with Thames Valley Police and the Canal and River Trust to figure out what happened and whether any action needs to be taken.

Cllr Lynne Doherty, leader of the council, said: “Our deepest condolences and thoughts go out to the family at this heart-breaking time.

“This incident seems to have occurred near to Ash Bridge next to the sluice on the canal.

“There is a public footpath and (according to land registry) the land and sluice are owned by the Canal and River Trust.

“This is a tragic incident which will be fully investigated by the emergency services.

“We will work with the police and the Canal and River Trust to fully understand what happened and how future incidents could be prevented.

“At this moment in time we are not aware of any similar incidents or near misses at this location but anything we can do to increase awareness of water safety will be looked into with the Canal and River Trust.”

The Canal and River Trust is also assisting police with their investigation.

A spokesman for the trust said: “We are shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life of a three-year-old child in the River Kennet in Newbury at the weekend.

“Our thoughts and sympathies are with the family at this incredibly sad time.”

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He added: “We recognise and share the depth of local concerns reflected in the petition and will work with local partners, including the council, to undertake an investigation and make improvements where possible.

“At the moment we don’t yet know the full details and circumstances which led to such a tragic death.

“It will be important to work with the police and others to fully understand the circumstances as part of the process.”