Inquest opens into deaths of River Wear tragedy girls Tonibeth Purvis and Chloe Fowler

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AN inquest into the deaths of teenagers Tonibeth Purvis and Chloe Fowler who died on Tuesday has been opened and adjourned.

Tonibeth, 15, of Barmston, Washington, and Chloe, 14, of Shiney Row, died after getting into difficulty in the River at Fatfield, Washington.

Chloe, of Oxclose Academy, entered the water about 3pm to cool off when she began to struggle in the water.

Tonibeth, a former pupil of Oxclose Academy, then followed to help her friend before also getting into difficulty.

Passers-by tried to help the girls before a huge rescue mission involving more than 100 emergency services got under way.

Their bodies were recovered late on Tuesday night and taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital where they were identified.

Sunderland coroners officer, Neville Dixon, said the inquest has been adjourned as a post mortem examination into the girls’ deaths proved inconclusive.

“The bodies have been released so the families can hold funerals, and we can gather all the information we need” he said.

“The date has been rescheduled to hold the inquest on October 24.”