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Mum pays tribute after baby son thrown into River Irwell

Zakari William Bennett-Eko and Emma Blood

The family of a baby boy who sadly died after being rescued from the River Irwell have paid tribute to him.

Police were called to reports that a child was in the River Irwell near to Blackburn Street in Radcliffe at around 4.25pm on Wednesday 11 September 2019. Emergency services attended and the baby boy was retrieved from the water and quickly taken to hospital.

The boy – who has since been formally identified as 11-month-old Zakari William Bennett-Eko – sadly died a short time later despite the best efforts of paramedics and specialist doctors.

Specialist officers are continuing to support his family at this devastating time.

Zakari William Bennett-Eko

Paying tribute to him, Zakari’s mum Emma Blood, said: “On Wednesday afternoon my life changed forever. I woke up that morning being a mummy to the most wonderful cute little boy and by the afternoon Zakari was taken from me in the most tragic of circumstances.

“Zakari was my life for 11 months and will be the heart of our family for many years to come.

“He was a cheeky little chappie with a smile that melted hearts. He was the youngest of 5 generations of our family and was loved beyond belief.

“Zakari wrapped everyone around his little finger. He was a happy and content baby with a gorgeous little smile and a head full of curls. Everyone that met him fell in love with him instantly.

“It’s hard to comprehend what has happened and that I will not get to see my baby grow up to be the handsome decent man I knew he would become.

“My family and I would like to thank everybody for their continued support, it is very much appreciated and would like to ask for privacy at his traumatic time.”

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