A teenage girl was allegedly pushed into a canal from behind by a group of boys as she walked home from school in a "disgusting" attack.
The 13-year-old’s mum says it was lucky her daughter wasn’t dragged underwater after she was targeted by between five and 10 boys.
The incident happened as the girl walked along the path next to the Huddersfield Canal in Stalybridge in Tameside, Greater Manchester.
After allegedly pushing the schoolgirl in the water, the attackers – said to be teenagers – then ran away, the Manchester Evening News reports.
Fortunately, the girl managed to find a ladder and get herself out of the canal, scraping her knee in the process.
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Her schoolbag, books, uniform and school shoes were left ruined and her mobile phone was damaged, it is claimed.
The boys’ school is now investigating.
The incident happened at around 3.30pm yesterday while the area was busy with children making their way home from school.
The mother of the girl, who wishes to remain anonymous, claimed: “They pushed her in and then ran off back to the road.
“She fell completely into the water with her school bag and everything. Luckily there was a ladder that was there.
“She is badly shook up, she is traumatised. She is lucky, it could’ve gone terribly wrong.
“The bag could’ve pulled her under the water, I feel so grateful it didn’t turn out worse.
“It is disgusting. They have come from behind, she doesn’t know who they are.”
She added: “She can’t go into school, she has no uniform or footwear.
“I am hoping she has not swallowed anything, it is completely filthy.
“It is so dangerous it could’ve gone so terribly wrong, it is worrying, anything could’ve happened.”
Alan Harrison, headteacher at West Hill School, said: “The school has been made aware of an incident which took place on the afternoon of Wednesday, June 21, on the canal near the Stalybridge Tesco.
“The school is taking this very seriously and is currently carrying out an investigation. The whole school community is horrified by the incident.
“The school is also assisting the police in their investigation. If anyone witnessed the incident and can help in the investigation, both the school and the police would appreciate the information. All information would be treated in the strictest of confidence."
A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: "Shortly after 5pm on Thursday, June 21, police were called to reports of an assault that had occurred around 3.30pm near Warrington Street in Stalybridge.
"A teenager had been walking home from school along the canal, when she was assaulted by a group of boys and subsequently ended up in the canal.
"Enquiries into the full circumstances around this incident are ongoing."
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting incident number 1667 of 21/06/2018 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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