'Dead' baby pulled from river still alive

A baby pronounced dead after falling into a river in the Uk, was tonight fighting for life after medics detected a faint heartbeat, police said.

The 10-month-old girl is in a critical condition after falling into the River Thames, near Goring, in Oxfordshire, at about 9.45am today.

Police said her mother and three-year-old sister also entered the water and were taken to hospital for checks.

A Thames Valley Police spokesman said: “The 10-month-old girl was airlifted to the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, where she was initially thought to be dead.

“However, a very faint heartbeat was then discovered. She remains in hospital in a critical condition.”

One man, who lives close to the scene of the incident, said the baby’s buggy had been blown into the water by strong winds as it was pushed by her mother.

However, police said they were unable to confirm the exact circumstances of the incident.

Sergeant Graham Pink, of Thames Valley Police, said: “The child was pronounced dead at the John Radcliffe Hospital – before a very faint heartbeat was discovered.

“The initial report was that the child had died. We put a statement out saying the child was dead and we would not have done that unless we had been told she was dead.”

Police said they believe the child fell off a bank into the river near Ferry Lane in Goring.

The scene, about half a mile downstream from pop star George Michael’s house, was cordoned off today as officers, including divers, investigated.

A man near the scene said he had got out of his boat to help.

“I helped get the baby out of the water and on to the bank. My thoughts and prayers are with the baby and her family,” said the man, who would not give his name.

Pete West, 26, of Goring, said: “I didn’t see the incident but I heard the baby was in a buggy being pushed by the mother and it was blown into the river by strong winds.

“The mother then went into the water to rescue the child.”

Another man, who witnessed the event from another boat, added: “It’s been a harrowing day. I just want to get on with my holiday now.”

A spokeswoman for South Central Ambulance Service said the baby was unconscious when crews arrived and was airlifted to hospital.

A spokeswoman for the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust said she “could not comment” on police suggestions that medics from the trust first declared the girl dead, then realised she was alive.

She said: “A faint heartbeat was discovered as doctors tried to resuscitate her. She is now in a critical condition.”

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