Boy pulled from icy pond named

A six-year-old boy fighting for his life after plunging into an icy pond was named by a hospital trust today.

Thomas Hudson, known as Tommy, is thought to have been under water for half an hour before he was pulled out by firefighters after a friend he was playing with raised the alarm.

A woman was already in the 6ft deep pond, in the garden of a house in Crookham Common, near Thatcham, Berkshire, searching for him when emergency services arrived.

He was blue and unresponsive when he was found yesterday afternoon before being airlifted to hospital. Doctors there are still trying to save his life.

A spokesman for Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Trust said: "Following an operation last night, Tommy is in a critical condition at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

"Tommy's parents would like to thank all those involved in his rescue and treatment so far. They would also ask that their privacy be respected at this very difficult time."

It is hoped the boy's young age, and the fact that the water was bitterly cold, could help him make a recovery.

Thames Valley Police have launched an investigation into how the youngster came to fall into the pond, in Burys Banks Road, near Newbury Racecourse.

It is not known if Tommy was attempting to walk on the ice, or accidentally fell on to it, but paramedic Hugh Whitaker urged others to stay away from water.

He warned: "With the very thick frost we have been having, it's impossible to know whether ice on water is thick or thin.

"If you go on to it, you risk falling through. Parents and children need to be vigilant. All icy water is dangerous and should be treated as such."

He would not confirm if the woman in the pond with the boy was related to him, but added that she had been medically examined after coming out of the water and did not need to be treated.