'Too early' to say whether youngster who died from severe burns near Crick was collecting a football

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The officer leading the investigation into 11-year-old Harrison Ballantyne's death on railway lines near Crick could not confirm rumours that the youngster was retrieving a football.

Emergency services were called to an area of a bridleway around a mile away from the village of Crick at about 5.20pm last night.

An 11-year-old boy had strayed onto a branch line heading into the Daventry International Rail Terminal and suffered 'significant electrical burns'. Despite the best efforts of emergency services at the scene, the young boy lost his life.

Speaking at the site of the tragedy today, Supt Chris Hodgkiss confirmed the youngster as Guilsborough Academy pupil Harrison Ballantyne.

However, he said it was too early to say whether the youngster, who was with four friends at the time, was retrieving football from Bridge D of DIRFT south.

He said: "We consider this to be unexplained as to why he is deceased.

"It is too early to give any more information."

However, he added that the youngster had come into 'contact' with the overhead electrical wires.

Supt Hodgkiss said Harrison 'was an 11-year-old popular young male in this local area' before adding it must be "an extremely difficult time for his friends, his family and the local community".

"Our officers will be supporting Harrison's family during this investigation while we establish exactly why Harrison and his friends were on a non-public area of the railway."

Various people have arrived at the remote scene to place flowers today while officers continue to conduct inquiries in the local area. A report will be prepared for the coroner following the investigation.

On the four friends who were with Harrison at the time of his death, the superintendent said: "It's a difficult time for them."

"They are currently being supported by specially trained officers, who are visiting them and consulting with them.

"But also in terms of supporting his friends in terms of them being witnesses and the difficult things they may have experienced yesterday.

"This really does highlight the dangers of being on a railway track and being on non-public areas of the railway.

"It is really a case of highlighting to parents to be extremely vigilant around where children are going during the six-week holidays and evenings.

"But also if you live in the community near a railway track to be vigilant as well.

"If you see people on non-public areas of the railway absolutely contact police and we will respond appropriately."

Anyone with information about the incident is being asked to call the British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40.