Wales

Inquiry after death of James Beck at Meliden Quarry

An investigation has started after a 14-year-old boy died after a fall at a disused quarry in Denbighshire.

James Beck was described as a popular pupil at Prestatyn High School.

The head teacher said he was "a bright, mature, caring and gracious young man". The school is to provide counselling sessions during half term next week.

A rescue helicopter from RAF Valley on Anglesey was sent to the old Meliden Quarry on Prestatyn Hillside at 19:00 BST on Thursday but could not save him.

North Wales Police said there were no suspicious circumstances and the Health and Safety Executive and the coroner have been informed.

Detectives will also be preparing a file for the coroner.

'Devastated'

Prestatyn High head teacher Phil Pierce described James as a popular and happy boy who would be sadly missed.

"Everyone at Prestatyn High School is devastated at the news of the tragic death of James Beck," he said.

"James was a bright, mature, caring and gracious young man with a smile that lit up the place and a sense of humour to match.

"He was very popular in his form group and Jupiter House with a wide circle of friends, all of whom are very upset at his passing."

He said the school has a close relationship with James's family and that "thoughts and prayers are with them at this most difficult time".

Mr Pierce issued a statement via the school website saying it is to provide counselling sessions over half term for adults as well as children.

'Extremely saddened'

Image caption James was described as "very popular" by his head teacher

The old quarry is popular with climbers and used as a meeting place for local youngsters.

Denbighshire council says it is thought the incident happened in one of the quarries that make up the common land owned by the authority at Prestatyn Hillside.

A council spokesperson said: "We were extremely saddened to hear of the tragic incident at Meliden on Thursday evening and we extend our sympathies to the family.

"The council will co-operate fully with the investigation that will take place and as such it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage until we know the full circumstances surrounding the incident."

An investigation into the incident is continuing at the scene.

Members of the North East Wales Search and Rescue organisation, who took part in the initial rescue operation, are continuing to help officers.

The cliff where the boy fell is about 35m (115ft) high.

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