A 16-year-old girl killed in a suspected knife attack at a Chinese takeaway was a straight-A student who ‘could have achieved anything’, a devastated friend has said.
The schoolgirl lived above the Blue Sky takeaway in the rural Welsh village of Ynyswen, Treorchy, where police were yesterday called to reports of a stabbing.
South Wales Police described the death as ‘sudden’ and said the cause of death had not yet been confirmed, with a post-mortem due to be carried out.
Officers were called to the premises at about midday yesterday. Two men have been arrested and are in hospital receiving treatment for serious injuries.
Police said the incident is not being treated as a terrorist attack and it is understood that those involved are known to each other.
A friend today paid tribute to the tragic schoolgirl, who she described as ‘brilliant’.
She said: ‘I am devastated at what has happened – she was lovey, an A-grade student who could have achieved anything in life.’
The schoolgirl lived above the Blue Sky takeaway in the rural village of Ynyswen (pictured this morning)
Officers were called to a premises in Baglan Street (pictured this morning), at about midday. Two men have been arrested and are in hospital receiving treatment for serious injuries
Flowers were laid outside the takeaway while a team of forensic officers continued their investigations today.
Superintendent Rich Jones, from South Wales Police, said: ‘This is clearly a very serious incident which has caused significant shock and concern for both the local and wider community.
‘We have a dedicated team of detectives working hard to establish the exact circumstances that have led to the tragic death of this young girl.
‘While the investigation is still in its early stages, we can confirm that those involved are understood to be known to each other and we are currently not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.’
Supt Jones said there would be significant police presence in Baglan Street over the weekend while forensic inquiries continue. The main road outside the takeaway will be opened ‘at the earliest opportunity’.
Her family is being supported by specially-trained family liaison officers and police are trying to contact relatives both in the UK and overseas. Detectives are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.
Chris Bryant, Labour MP for Rhondda, said news of the death was ‘absolutely tragic’. ‘My thoughts are with loved ones this evening. You just don’t think that something like this is going to happen in the Rhondda,’ he said.
First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford tweeted that news of the incident was ‘deeply concerning’, adding: ‘I’m being kept informed of developments and my thoughts are with everyone in the community during this worrying time.’
A 16-year-old girl has died and several others are feared seriously injured after a knife attack at a Chinese takeaway in a rural Welsh village
A Chinese restaurant called The Blue Sky is closed off on Baglan Street, Treorchy, South Wales
An aerial view showing a police forensics team working at the scene in Treorchy, Wales
Police place a cordon around the scene of the multiple stabbing. Screams were heard coming from the Blue Sky Chinese takeaway shortly after midday in the village of Ynyswen, Rhondda, yesterday
Screams were heard coming from the Blue Sky Chinese takeaway in Ynyswen, Rhondda
A police forensics team works at the scene of a multiple stabbing. South Wales Police said the incident involved a ‘number of casualties’ in the rural Welsh village
Police place a cordon around the scene. One of the victims was a woman who was sitting in a black car parked outside the restaurant, a witness claimed
Councillor Andrew Morgan, the leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, said he had been informed of ‘the major incident in Ynyswen’ and thanked the emergency services for the ‘significant attendance which is ongoing’.
He added: ‘My thoughts are with everyone affected by this incident but please avoid the area until emergency services leave the location.’
A spokesman for the Welsh Ambulance Service said they had sent one rapid response vehicle, three emergency ambulances, the hazardous area response team and the Wales Air Ambulance to the scene.
The restaurant is run by parents with their two children also living above the shop and is rated 62 out of 74 restaurants in the Treorchy area of the Rhondda valleys.
Horrified neighbour John Belgrove, a 46-year-old builder, said: ‘I was in my workshop when I heard sirens and saw police everywhere.
‘There was a girl sitting on a pavement – she was in her pyjamas and they were covered in blood. I could see she was sobbing and in a terrible state.
‘I helped the police block off the road, I heard them say that one person was dead and several others badly hurt.’
Mr Belgrove said he believes the casualties were Chinese and had worked at the takeaway in Baglan Street – which was sealed off by police – for the last three years.
He said: ‘The restaurant owners haven’t been there very long – they did a swap with another Chinese restaurant nearby called Yummy Yummy.
‘It’s shocking, it’s such a quiet village. I counted 31 emergency vehicles here and two air ambulances.’
Forensics are seen on Baglan Street, Treorchy, South Wales, Britain
Police at the scene in the village of Ynyswen in Treorchy, Rhondda after a serious incident
A huge emergency response is underway in south Wales as police deal with a ‘major incident’ involving a ‘number of casualties’ in Baglan Street near Rhondda this afternoon
Police put a cordon of white security screens around the takeaway which has a three-bedroom flat above the shop area
A police forensics team works at the scene of the multiple stabbing in Treorchy, Wales
Police are seen on Baglan Street, Treorchy, South Wales, Britain
Mother-of-two Kirby England, 29, who lives opposite told how a paramedic had to reach into the car to get her out.
She said: ‘He laid her on the floor and was giving her CPR – I could see him doing the pumping actions on her chest.
‘Other paramedics joined him while the police blocked off the road from both ends. They put screens around her and I didn’t see her being taken away.’
Mrs England said she had lived in the street opposite all her life and there had never been any trouble at the restaurant.
She said: ‘It was scary. there were armed police and all the emergency workers were kitted out for a major incident.’
Detectives worked with forensic officers and police outside the restaurant this afternoon
The restaurant is run by parents with their two children also living above the shop and is rated 62 out of 74 restaurants in the Treorchy area of the Rhondda valleys
Police put a cordon of white security screens around the takeaway which has a three-bedroom flat above the shop area.
The air ambulances landed on a nearby rugby field to take two casualties to hospital. Locals said they saw two more ambulances going by road to the University Hospital of Wales 20 miles away in Cardiff.
Fellow neighbour Mavis Wakeford said: ‘It is very serious. The police have stopped me going out the back and told me to stay inside.
‘You don’t expect anything like this to happen here – it is a quiet place. They seem like a nice family and close – but I don’t know them very well.’
Neighbour, John Evans, 70, said: ‘There was a lot of blood at the scene, it was a major incident with multiple victims.
‘This is normally a quiet village I don’t know what’s happened to cause this.’
Two police officers seen standing in front of a cordon placed around the scene
A resident in the area said: ‘I live in the street, it was about half past 12 on my way to meet my friend.
‘As I come around the corner there was loads of sirens getting passed and I saw four police at the bottom with guns telling people they couldn’t come down the hill.
‘They were saying can you get back. Then a couple of minutes later I saw someone getting stretchered off into the back of an ambulance literally outside the Chinese by the hill.’
Another neighbour said: ‘A woman was heard screaming but I don’t think she was one of the injured.
‘She saw what happened which must have been awful. There was a lot of blood.’
The nature of incident is not known at this stage but police have confirmed there are casualties
Pictures from the scene show a huge emergency service response with at least 20 vehicles
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