HORRIFIED witnesses screamed "it's not safe" moments before a group of children fell through the ice on a frozen lake.
Four of the kids are currently fighting for their lives in hospital afterheroic police officers and members of the public jumped into the water to save them.
Two other children are feared to be dead with an overnight search continuing for the missing youngsters.
Medics fear they are no longer alive due to their age, the temperature of the water and the length of time spent in it.
Cops stayed at the lake in Solihull, West Midlands throughout the night "in case there is anyone else that might have been involved".
Specialist divers from Nottinghamshire were drafted in to help with the mammoth rescue mission.
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The victims are understood to have been playing on the ice covering the water yesterday afternoon when they fell in.
Distraught locals told how bystanders had yelled it wasn't "safe" to go on the lake, which had frozen over in the cold weather.
Sophie, 23, said: "I got here with my friends at 2.45pm. There were a group of youngsters playing near the lake which was completely iced over.
"Two of them had gone onto the lake and people were shouting at them that it wasn't safe.
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"Then the ice cracked and the leg of one of the boys went in. The other three on the bank then went in to help and soon they were all in trouble."
Witnesses said the ice cracked beneath two of the kids and the others got into trouble when they went to help.
Footage given to The Sun shows cops desperately running to the lake to save the kids.
Emergency services swam to the first child before rescuing three further children from the water.
The children – believed to be primary school age – were brought out of the water and given CPR.
One policeman suffered mild hypothermia and went to hospital as a precaution. He is making a full recovery.
West Midland Fire Service's Richard Stanton told a press conference last night: "When the fire service arrived on scene we were made aware that there were up to six people potentially in the water.
"After rescuing the four children we are continuing search and rescue operations in the whole lake to confirm whether there are any more in the water."
He later added: "The specialist medical advice we have been given is that given the temperature, given the age of those believed to have entered the water, and the amount of time they have been there, that this would no longer be a search and rescue operation."
And he warned adults and children alike to stay away from open water and ice, adding: "We know the weather forecast for the next few days is expected to be bitterly cold.
"Under no circumstances venture onto ice, regardless of how thick or safe you think this ice to be."
Ellie Harvey, 29, a mum of two who works in one of three nearby primary schools as a lunchtime assistant, said: “I understand they are all year five and year six primary school children.”
One local said last night: “This is a real tragedy. We still hope for the best but expect the worst.”
A woman who was seen consoling her friend at the scene also said: "This is a terrible thing to have happened, and just before Christmas.
"Youths were out on the ice having fun when it gave way and they fell in.
"Some have been rescued but there may be kids still trapped in there.
"The rescue teams are doing everything they can, they are working tirelessly in freezing, dark conditions and everyone here is just waiting and praying.
"It is heart-breaking and everyone is frantic with worry."
Temperatures have remained below freezing in the area today as snow and ice warnings were issued across the country.
A witness added to Sky News: "I saw firefighters in the lake smashing the ice."
Emergency services including police, the fire service and ambulance service are on scene.
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It comes as freezing temperatures were recorded across parts of the West Midlands with the mercury currently hitting 1C in Solihull.
Heavy snow has blasted parts of Britain after a freezing night and forecasters believe things will only get worse with the mercury set to plunge to -10C in the coming days.
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