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Collapsing river bank kills child

12-year-old killed and nine-year-old is seriously ill in hospital after tragedy on banks of river in Hérault

A 12-YEAR-OLD child has died and a nine-year-old is seriously ill in hospital after a river bank they were playing at in the Hérault collapsed on top of them.

They were part of a group of five children digging holes in the sandy banks of the river Lergue, near Ceyras yesterday afternoon, when the sand wall collapsed on top of them, Montpellier’s prosecutor Christophe Barret said.

The other children in the group raised the alarm with residents living nearby, but by the time emergency crews arrived, the two children had suffered heart attacks.

Despite rescuers’ efforts, the 12 year old child, who has been identified locally as a boy named Lucas, died.

The nine-year-old, who had been partially buried in the bank collapse, has been flown to hospital in Montpellier, where he is said to be seriously ill.

An investigation has been launched.

The Lergue is a tributary of the Hérault.

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