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Boy, 13, missing after falling into River Thames on way to school bag found by woman who jumped in

A desperate search is underway for a missing schoolboy whose bag was found in the River Thames after he fell from Tower Bridge on his way to school.

The 13-year-old pupil is said to have been wearing full school uniform when he got off a bus heading to Ark Globe Academy in Elephant and Castle, South London.

A short time later at around 8am on Tuesday, horrified eye-witnesses saw a boy plunge into the River Thames.

One brave onlooker waded into the water in a bid to save the teenager but only managed to retrieve his schoolbag as he disappeared under the water.

City of London Police has launched an 'intensive search' for the child involving helicopter and water searches but he has not yet been found.

One witness, who was working on a building site on the South Bank, told The Sun: "We all heard him screaming for help.

"Then a woman who was just walking past with her boyfriend grabbed a float and jumped into the river.

"She said 'why isn't anybody helping him' before jumping in herself.

"The woman jumped in seconds after but all she could bring back was his school jacket and his bag.

"I saw police going through the bag and it had his school books and stationary in it, he was clearly very young."

The boy is believed to have celebrated his 13th birthday only last week.

A police spokesperson said: "City of London Police is leading an investigation into a missing person, working alongside our colleagues in the Metropolitan Police Service.

"We believe this is linked to an incident where a child fell into the Thames from Tower Bridge. Despite an intensive search by City of London Police, the police helicopter and marine units, this person has not yet been found."

In a letter to parents, Principal Matt Jones said the Year 8 student got off the bus near Tower Bridge and "fell into the River Thames" on Tuesday morning.

Mr Jones wrote: "It is with worry that I share news about [pupil's name], a Year 8 student at Ark Globe Academy.

"On the morning of Tuesday 20 April, (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.

"This is obviously distressing news for [the pupil's] family, friends and the wider Ark Globe community.

"Our hopes and prayers are with the family at this very difficult time."

Anyone with information should contact City of London Police on 020 7601 2999, quoting reference 21000215310.

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