Body found at flooded Strabane quarry

A rescue operation searching for missing Strabane teenager Rhys Jack at a disused quarry site outside of the town have recovered a body.

The 17-year-old went missing after getting into trouble on a make-shift inflatible raft at the flooded quarry on the Strahan Road at around 6.30pm on Monday evening.

Three other young people aboard the dinghy were rescued after failed frantic efforts to rescue the local teenager.

Despite restricted access to the flooded quarry site on Strathan’s Road, it is known as a popular venue in Strabane for local bathers and swimmers.

Police, volunteer divers and members of the Fire Service carried out searches late into Monday night, resuming this morning at around 11am.

An ambulance crew and a local priest are currently at the flooded site, where the remains, understood to be those of Rhys Jack are being removed.

Local Sinn Féin Assembly member Michaela Boyle said the Strabane community had been left “devastated” by the tragedy.

The MLA, who remained with the grandparents of the 17-year-old until late on Monday night said, “All you can do in such circumstances is to try and comfort family members as best you can but there is no way I could even begin imagine the anguish and pain that the family has been going through since  first receiving this terrible news yesterday evening.

“The community in Strabane is totally devastated for the family and, as in the aftermath of the tragedy of surrounding David Colhoun, will rally round to support them in the days ahead.”

Meanwhile the chairman of Strabane District Council Brian McMahon said the “shock and disbelief” of Monday, had been replaced by a “palpable sense of sorrow” today.

Paying tribute to the work of the rescue teams and emergency services, called for safety concerns surrounding the disused quarry to be addressed.

“Obviously the issue of this quarry, which is a death trap needs to be ultimately addressed but the immediate concern must remain in supporting this family in their grief in the days ahead.”


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