Mudslide victim named as ‘much-loved’ schoolgirl, 10

The death of Leah Harrison has been described as ‘a heartbreaking tragedy’

A “much-loved” schoolgirl died following a mudslide in North Yorkshire, it has emerged.

Leah Harrison, a Year 6 pupil at Mount Pleasant Primary School, in Darlington, died after a mudslide on the edge of the North York Moors National Park on Wednesday, May 22.

In a statement, Leah’s family described the 10-year-old as a “happy, bubbly, go-lucky little girl.”

They added: “The beautiful smile, the giddy laugh, the silly jokes. You will never ever be forgotten baby girl. You will achieve your dream and become a player for the Lionesses. Spread those wings. May you rest in paradise.”

The family are being supported by specially-trained officers.

Mount Pleasant said staff and pupils had been left in a “state of shock,” describing her as a “much-loved part of their school.”

Paying tribute to Leah on Thursday morning, Nick Blackburn, Lingfield Education Trust chief executive, said: “The full details are still emerging but this is clearly a heartbreaking tragedy.

“Leah was a much-loved part of our school and our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends, and the school staff.

“Counselling is being arranged within the school for pupils and staff. “We are all in a state of shock and we would ask that the privacy of the family and the school community is respected while we try to come to terms with what has happened.”

The mudslide took place on the edge of the North York Moors National Park

North Yorkshire police said the incident occurred at 1.15pm on Wednesday and that no one else was injured.

Emergency services attended the scene and members of the public have been asked to avoid the area, which is cordoned off.

“We would ask the public to refrain from speculation and spreading unverified information,” a police spokesman said.

“Our thoughts are with (the victim’s) family and friends during this difficult time.”

Cleveland Mountain Rescue were also involved in the attempted rescue operation.

A spokesperson said: “Two Land Rovers and nineteen Cleveland MRT volunteer members were initially deployed, eventually rising to thirty at the scene during the course of the afternoon.”

They added: “The thoughts of the whole team are with the family and friends of the deceased during such a very sad time.”

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