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Siblings aged two and three killed in loch car plunge

Published 07/07/2016

Two children died after the car they were travelling in crashed into a loch near Oban, Police Scotland said
Two children died after the car they were travelling in crashed into a loch near Oban, Police Scotland said

A young brother and sister who died when the car they were travelling in plunged into a remote Scottish loch have been named by police.

A major rescue operation was launched when the vehicle carrying the youngsters fell into Loch nan Druimnean, north of the Argyll and Bute village of Kilmelford, at around 4pm on Wednesday.

Police Scotland confirmed the names of the children as sister and brother Leia McCorrisken, three, and two-year-old Seth McCorrisken.

Police have not yet revealed where the children are from. Their relatives have been informed.

A force spokesman said: "Inquiries are continuing to establish the exact circumstances of the incident and a report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal."

Passers-by raised the alarm after reporting that a car with people inside had fallen into the loch.

Police, fire, ambulance and coastguard teams were all sent to the scene following the incident, which led to the temporary closure of the A816 road.

A coastguard helicopter and police dive teams scoured the loch as the emergency response unfolded.

The bodies of the children were later recovered from the water.

A 36-year-old woman was taken to hospital in the nearby town of Oban and released after treatment.

The car was recovered from the scene during the early hours of Thursday.

Argyll and Bute SNP MSP Mike Russell said the incident has shaken the local community.

He told Press Association Scotland: "I think everybody is just completely stunned. It is a horrific thing to have happened, nothing worse could be imagined for a family.

"I think there's a general sense of shock both in the local community and more widely in Argyll.

"It is a bad piece of road, it's a difficult piece of road, and the weather was very bad yesterday.

"I do think that people are looking at this and saying it's a terrible, terrible thing to happen and looking at the conditions and wondering whether they were contributing.

"But we don't know any more and I think we should obviously wait to hear what the police have to say."

Nigel Mitchell, chair of Kilninver and Kilmelford Community Council, said he has known of at least four fatalities on that stretch of road in the 10 years he has lived in the area.

He told Press Association Scotland: "It is a sad incident and I send my condolences to the family. It is a road that is known for accidents."

One local woman, who has lived in the area for many years but did not want to be named, said: "It is a very winding road and there is no barrier at that point, which I think is a big mistake.

"We see barriers erected in much less dangerous situations throughout Argyll and Bute and it seems very odd that there isn't a barrier at that point.

"I know exactly where it happened and it is dangerous. Barriers, to my mind, would hopefully stop a car actually going into the water."

One man, who lives in the area and asked not to be identified, said he has had concerns about that stretch of road in the past.

He said: "It's a terrible tragedy. It has been talked about for years that it's a dangerous bit of road."

Witness Samantha Leiper, 20, told STV News she saw a woman in tears at the roadside following the crash.

''There were at least 20 cars in front of me at a standstill and the woman at the side of the road was crowded by people trying to comfort her.

''There were tyre and mud marks on both sides of the road. The loch is really close to the road. It is a sharp bend you go round - there's four or five corners all together at that part.''

Inspector Darren Faulds said: ''Two young children have lost their lives and our thoughts and condolences go out to the family of those involved in this tragic incident."

Anyone with information about the crash is asked to contact the divisional road policing unit at Campbeltown on 101.

An Argyll and Bute Council spokesman said: "Investigations into the circumstances surrounding the incident are ongoing."

Roddy McCuish, chair of the Oban, Lorn and the Isles Area Committee, said: "On behalf of the local community, our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with everyone affected by this very tragic situation.

"It is important also to recognise the work of the emergency services, volunteers and everyone else who has been involved in the response. They have worked tirelessly in very difficult and incredibly sad circumstances."

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