A young Worcestershire boy is fighting for his life after he was found with severe burns on a canal towpath.
The 11-year-old, who has not been named, was spotted by passers-by near a bridge in Bilford Road, Worcester, at about 6.10pm on Wednesday, West Mercia Police said.
He was taken by ambulance to Worcestershire Royal Hospital, then later transferred for specialist treatment to the Morriston Hospital, Swansea, where his condition was critical yesterday.
The boy, who lives in Worcester, has suffered 25 per cent burns, mainly to his chest and abdomen.
Police are still investigating whether his injuries were caused deliberately or by accident.
Det Sgt Andy Price, of Worcester CID, said: "The lad was heard crying for help and was in some distress when he was found by some joggers and cyclists on the towpath.
" He suffered severe burns to his chest and abdomen and we are currently investigating how he came by his injuries.
"We have been given an indication there were other people with him and we are keeping an open mind as to whether this has been deliberate or accidental.
"I would appeal to anyone who saw the incident itself - or anything suspicious prior to it - to come forward immediately."
* Anyone with information should contact Det Sgt Price on 08457 444 888.