A schoolboy is missing after falling off Tower Bridge and into the Thames in London, his headteacher has said.
The 13-year-old, a pupil from Ark Globe academy in Elephant and Castle, south London, was reported to have been travelling with a friend to school on Tuesday morning.
According to witnesses, a member of the public made their way into the water to save the teenager but managed only to retrieve his schoolbag and jacket as he disappeared under the water.
City of London police confirmed they were leading an investigation into an incident where a child fell into the river from Tower Bridge. The force said despite an “intensive search” by officers, firefighters, marine units and a police helicopter, shortly after 8am, the boy had not yet been found.
In a letter to parents on Wednesday, the executive principal of Ark Globe academy, Matt Jones, said the boy had got off the bus near the bridge, before his usual stop closest to the school.
Jones said it was “with worry” that he shared news about the year 8 student at Ark Globe Academy. “On the morning of Tuesday April 20, [he] did not make his way into school despite travelling on a bus with a friend in full school uniform.
“He got off the bus near Tower Bridge before his usual bus stop nearest to Ark Globe academy and fell into the River Thames.
“At this moment in time, police are treating this case as a ‘missing persons’ incident.”
He added: “This is obviously distressing news for the young person’s family, friends, and the wider Ark Globe community. As a school community, we are dealing with this sensitively so as not to compromise the integrity of the police investigation and we wish to respect the privacy of the family while the investigation is ongoing. Our hopes and prayers are with the family at this very difficult time.”