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Missing boy, five, dies after being found in the River Thames | UK News

A boy has died in hospital after being found in the River Thames.

A police appeal was launched to find Daniel Alaby, five, on Friday after he went missing from his home in Thamesmead, south-east London.

At 6.23pm officers looking for Daniel found a child in the river, the Metropolitan Police said.

Police administered CPR before the paramedics arrived.

The child, who is believed to be Daniel, was taken to hospital where he was later pronounced dead, the force added.

Daniel’s family have been made aware and are being supported by police.

There is no evidence to suggest that any other person was involved, the Met said.

Anyone who may have seen Daniel on Friday is asked to call police on 101 or post @MetCC ref 4592/29MAR24.

Identity of body recovered from River Thames a decade ago remains a mystery | UK News

The body of man discovered in the River Thames 10 years ago to this day is still unidentified.

It was recovered by the marine policing unit, after being spotted by a passer-by at Bankside Pier in Southwark on 26 August 2013.

Despite a media appeal and the release of an e-fit, his formal identification was never confirmed.

The Metropolitan Police has now renewed calls for more information.

He is described as black, aged between 40 and 50, of large build and balding with dark hair at the sides.

The man also had a beard and moustache.

When found, he was fully clothed in a dark blue fleece, beige shirt, two pairs of dark trousers and brown “Aboutblu” trainers.

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Detective Inspector Adrian Smith said he remains “hopeful” somebody will identify him.

DI Smith said: “Today marks the 10th anniversary of this man being found in the river. Sadly, he remains unidentified.

“Although not everyone has, or remains in contact with, a family, I still remain hopeful that someone will come forward and tell us who he was. Someone must have wondered where he had gone and what had happened to him.

“It’s possible that they didn’t see our previous appeals, so I would ask that you take a look at the e-fit that we have re-released, and let us know if you remember him.”

Bodies that remain unidentified are generally buried in unmarked graves.

Thames Water fined more than £3m over sewage spill that turned rivers black near Gatwick Airport | UK News

Thames Water have been fined more than £3m after admitting polluting rivers.

The company, which supplies one in four people in Britain with water, had pleaded guilty to four charges relating to illegally discharging waste.

It was fined £3.3m at Lewes Crown Court on Tuesday.

The court heard “millions of litres” of undiluted sewage was pumped into the Gatwick Stream and River Mole between Crawley in West Sussex and Horley in Surrey on 11 October, 2017.

The hearing was told that the spill turned the water “black” and killed more than 1,000 fish.

More than 1,000 fish died as a result of sewage in rivers
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More than 1,000 fish died as a result of sewage in rivers

Judge Christine Laing KC said that she believed the firm had shown a “deliberate attempt” to mislead the Environment Agency over the incident, by omitting water readings and submitting a report to the regulator denying responsibility.

The company has previously been fined £32.4m for pollution incidents in the Thames Valley and south-west London between 2017 and 2021.

During the first day of the hearing on Monday, the court heard how a storm pump at Crawley Sewage Treatment Works site was unexpectedly diverting sewage to its storm tank for 21 hours and went “unnoticed”.

Prosecutor Sailesh Mehta estimated untreated sewage was spilling into the river for six and a half hours after no alarm was raised.

When an alarm was raised the lead technician was unreachable as they were waiting for a new mobile phone.

Read more:
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Thames Water customers told ‘nothing’ will happen with customers’ bills
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Eyewitness accounts read in court said how they saw the river turn “black” and “grey”, with “huge numbers of dead fish” visible in the water.

Nearly 1,400 dead fish were recovered from the rivers by the Environment Agency following the incident.

Lisa Roberts KC, representing Thames Water, said the firm expresses its “unreserved and sincere apology” for the incident, adding: “Put bluntly, it shouldn’t have happened and Thames deeply regrets the event.”

More than 1,000 fish died as a result of sewage in rivers

She said the company rejects that previous issues were to blame for the spillage, putting it down to a “faulty switch” in the storm pump which meant the incident could not have been predicted.

A £33m plan to improve the Crawley site has been put in place since the incident, according to Ms Roberts, with aims to complete it by the end of March 2025.

New systems have also been rolled out across other Thames Water sites to prevent such incidents happening again.

The fine comes as the company faces concerns over its future amid a mounting £14bn debt.

Thames Water’s chief executive Sarah Bentley stepped down with immediate effect last week after she gave up her bonus due to the company’s environmental performance.

In 2021, Southern Water was fined a record £90m for nearly 7,000 incidents of illegal discharge of sewage across Hampshire, Kent and Sussex.

Thames Tideway: Inside the £4bn ‘super sewer’ that will help protect London’s river from pollution | UK News

With a rattling clank the sliding doors shut on the makeshift lift and we start to track down the wall of the biggest vertical shaft I’ve ever seen.

A concrete tank 60 metres deep and 18 across dropping down to a tunnel junction beneath, its epic scale feels like something I’ve only seen on film: Dune or Bond.

The reality is less glamorous. It will fill with what we flush.

Sky News has been given rare access into the ‘super sewer’ or Thames Tideway, as it’s officially called.

It has three of these giant tanks along nearly 20 miles of tunnel, each wide enough to hold three double decker buses side by side.

Total build time will be nine years at a cost of around £4bn: an expensive solution to a massive problem.

In an average year, 39 million cubic metres of water contaminated with sewage is dumped into the River Thames.

London‘s Victorian sewers were built after the Great Stink of 1858, a stench from the river so bad that parliament couldn’t sit.

They were engineering marvels of their time, but over 100 years later a deliberate design decision has become a major flaw.

The foul water from our homes flows into the same pipes that carry rainwater running off roads and roofs. So downpours can overwhelm the system – especially as London has grown.

Sewage spills out of pipes like these whenever there's significant rain in London
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Sewage spills out of pipes like these when there’s significant rain in London
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The new sewer will send overflows to an east London treatment plant

We have more people flushing toilets and more of those tile and tarmac hard surfaces. To prevent sewage backing up into homes, it is deliberately dumped in the river.

Lucy Webster, external affairs director for Thames Tideway, tells Sky News: “When they were designed, that would have been a very, very rare event.

“But today, with all its development, with population growth, it’s a very regular occurrence. And pretty much whenever it rains to any significant degree in London, it will be overflowing directly into the River Thames. “

Anger over ‘billowing brown plumes’

The super sewer will catch those overflows and send the sewage to a treatment plant in Beckton, east London and in a torrential downpour it’ll fill those huge tunnels. It’s like a new river network under London.

Paying for these costs each London household £18 per year – but polluted rivers and coasts are a national problem and, if it is to be solved, that bill will spread.

Campaign group Surfers Against Sewage recorded 14,000 untreated leaks last year and 700 incidents of human illness from sewage.

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October 2022: Huge sewage spill spotted in Cornwall

Billowing brown plumes in rivers and around our coasts have caused a popular and political outcry.

This week the government announced plans to make it easier to fine water companies for sewage leaks and many campaigners say they should find the money for the clean-up from their profits.

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But Alastair Chisholm, director of policy at the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management, says no one is being realistic about the scale and cost of the job nationwide.

“At the moment it’s looking like a bit of a car crash. We’ve got campaigners taking government to task. We’ve got government and other politicians shouting from the rooftops that they want to really punish the water companies.

“We’ve got the water companies needing to invest amounts of money that potentially are unaffordable for customers. There’s going to have to be a real reckoning with reality. And I think that’s going to come over the next 12 months.”

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The price for removing sewage from our natural waterways is high but nature is paying the price for doing nothing.

Chris Coode, from healthy river pressure group Thames 21, has witnessed the result of big leaks.

“You have a big slick of sewage in the river and as bacteria break down the organic matter they will use up oxygen,” he explains.

“So you’ll end up with huge areas of deoxygenated water. Fish can’t breathe, so you’ll see them sometimes at the edge, gasping. And you can have thousands of dead fish.”