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Missing girl, 5, dies after falling in Regent's Canal in Islington

Crest Buildings in Wharf Road, Islington (The Standard)
Crest Buildings in Wharf Road, Islington (The Standard)

A five-year-old girl has died after falling into Regent’s Canal in Islington, just ten minutes after she was reported missing.

Members of the public dived into the north London canal on Saturday but emergency services were unable to save her and she died in hospital that same evening.

The Metropolitan Police has confirmed the youngster was reported missing from her home in Wharf Road, Islington, at 4.13pm on February 17.

The girl was found in the canal - which is a popular spot for walkers - at 4.24pm.

The riverside of Regent's Canal, where floral tributes have been laid (The Standard)
The riverside of Regent's Canal, where floral tributes have been laid (The Standard)

A statement added: “Officers responded and carried out a search of the area.

“Officers and members of the public rescued her from the water and officers carried out CPR. Paramedics were called and the girl was taken to hospital where she sadly died at around 7pm that evening.

“Her family have been informed and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time. Our enquiries are ongoing, however the circumstances are not believed to be suspicious.”

The girl has been named locally as Malika Hibu. She was one of four siblings and went to school locally.

The family, of Eritrean background, are now being supported by police and the wider community.

A neighbour, who does not wish to be named, told the Standard: “It is a tragedy and it has been awful.

“Everyone is really upset but we are coming together as a community to support the family.

“It could not happen to a nicer family, they are lovely people. It is a massive shame.

“They are devastated, really upset, and everything that happened was not their fault.

“She was such a sweet girl and her siblings loved her. They really miss playing with her.”

Malika’s father Mohammed spoke from the Crest Buildings-run property on Thursday, telling the Camden New Journal that his daughter was a “happy” girl.

“She was a happy girl. I’m not just saying that because she was my daughter,” he said.

“Always, she was smiling, happy. She loved staying around me, joking about my body, calling me an old man. She was smiling always. She liked playing in parks, joking.”

The Crest Buildings estate is less than five years old and in a picturesque location that overlooks the canal.

The Metropolitan Police has said an investigation has started.

Housing association Peabody, which manages Crest Buildings, has shared a statement.

Tracy Packer, managing director at Peabody said: “This is a heartbreaking tragedy, and our thoughts are very much with Malika’s family and friends as they go through this incredibly difficult time.

“Our neighbourhood team has been visiting residents to check in and offer support where needed.

“We're looking at all of the circumstances and will support the authorities in their enquiries into how this happened."