A friend of one of the boys who died after falling through an icy lake in Solihull said the group fell into the water after trying to save their trapped friend.
Three boys aged 11, 10 and eight years old died after falling into Babbs Mill Lake on Sunday afternoon.
A six-year-old boy also remains in critical condition, while officers have played down fears that others were trapped in the lake after nearly 24 hours went by without anyone else being reported missing.
Tommy Barnet, 10, told Sky News that he heard details of the tragic incident. He said: “They were all playing on the ice, one got their legs stuck in the ice and then … his friends went to go and save him, but they all fell in.
When the boys were eventually helped out of the lake by specialist water-rescue trained fire crews, they were found to be in cardiac arrest and were sent to Birmingham hospitals, where they all arrived in critical condition.
Locals held a vigil for the boys on Monday night near the lake.