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Boy (4) dies in tumble dryer during hide-and-seek game

A four-year-old boy died after he climbed into a tumble dryer during a game of hide and seek, it was reported today.

The child, named in reports as Sonny Gibson, was reported missing from the garden of his home at Derbyshire, in the English midlands, shortly after 10.30am yesterday.

A police helicopter was scrambled before the boy was found dead just under an hour later by his "distraught" mother and a police officer.

Detectives would not say whether the dryer was switched on when the boy was found.

The boy was dead at the scene.

A neighbour said that he was being looked after by older siblings while his mother, named as Anne Shepherd, was out shopping.

"I've been told he was playing hide and seek while they were in the front room.

"He climbed into the dryer and shut the door. God knows what it must have been like for the poor mite."

A spokeswoman for Derbyshire Constabulary said no one has been arrested.

The spokeswoman said yesterday: "It's normal procedure to search the house to make sure whoever is missing isn't found there.

"They were searching outside with the force helicopter and they also searched inside the house and that's where they found him.

"He was found by his mother, who had a police officer with her at the time. She's distraught, as can be expected, and is receiving medical attention."