Inquest into “immersion” of 13 year-old Zaheid Ali opened in London

Zaheid Ali, 13. Family handout.

An inquest into the death of 13-year-old schoolboy, Zaheid Ali, has opened at Southwark Corner’s Court last week.

Minutes after leaving from the school bus, Ali, a student of Ark Globe Academy in Elephant and Castle, climbed over the ridge of the Tower Bridge and jumped in the River Thames.

The inquest heard that bystanders desperately tried to intervene; some threw lifebuoys but could not fish out Ali from the river. They could only find his school jacket and school bag.

Ali’s body was retrieved after eight days from the Thames and was identified by an Oyster card that was found in his jacket. A post-mortem report found the cause of death was “immersion”.

Assistant Coroner Dr. Julian Morris told the Mail Online: “Mr. Ali was reported missing after not attending school on April 20. He was travelling to school by bus with a friend and got off one stop early and made his way to Tower Bridge.

“He entered the bridge from the south side before being seen to climb over a barrier and jump. Members of the public threw life support rings and jumped into the river, but were unable to retrieve him.”

Ali had left for school and was travelling on a bus with his friend, but left the bus a stop earlier than usual, the inquest heard.

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Ark Globe Academy’s executive principal, Matt Jones, said: “We are very saddened to hear that a body has been found and that the police believe it is the missing student of ours. Our hearts go out to his family and friends. As a school community, we are pulling together ensuring all our students are supported at this difficult time.”

The inquest was adjourned and a full inquest will take place into Ali’s death on a date to be set.

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