Tributes have poured in on social media for a County Durham toddler who died on Friday following an incident in a County Durham village. 

Two-year-old Maya Louise Chappell was airlifted to the RVI in Newcastle in a critical condition after emergency services were called to Shotton Colliery on Wednesday afternoon (September 28).

Police are still investigating the incident and said a man in his 20s has been arrested on suspicion of assault with intent to cause serious harm. 

Last night, James Chappell, Maya's father, writing on Facebook, said: “It breaks my heart to be writing this but sadly my beautiful brave little girl has gained her wings she was too good for this world and as a reward she’s going to play in the stars.

“I love you so much Maya Louise Chappell, you are my life, my earth and my idol and I’ll always look up to you and love you with all my heart. RIP baby girl.

“Anyone who would like to pay their respects via social media are more than welcome.”

Read more: Heartbroken dad pays tribute as toddler injured in Shotton Colliery incident dies in hospital

The little girl’s death will come as a tragic shock to the close-knit former mining community where she lived.

Facebook users were quick to comment on The Northern Echo’s stories on Facebook covering this sad news.

Debs Ives-Wood said: “Rip little one. This is soul destroying to read, such a tiny innocent girl. I hope whatever happened to her, the person responsible for it gets what they deserve!!”

Lynette Eaves said: “How tragic. Thoughts with the family and friends. Fly with the angels little one.”

Janet Kennedy said: “How tragic. Thoughts with the family and friends. Fly with the angels little one.”

Read more: Shocked neighbours anxiously await updates as County Durham toddler fights for life

Trudy Boyce said: “Bless her little heart thinking of her dad and family, so heart-breaking.”

Liz Armstrong said: “Sorry for your loss I hope they going to find out the truth and the family get justice xx.”

Helen Linett said: “R.i.p beautiful angel xxx”

Earlier on Friday, Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Barker said: “We appreciate that friends, family and neighbours are deeply concerned by this incident, but we ask that the community refrains from speculation over the circumstances or naming of those involved online.

“A police vehicle was deliberately damaged whilst in attendance at the scene, and I’d like to remind the public that obstructing our officers as they carry out their enquiries is not helpful.

“Please allow us the space to conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances of the incident.”

More as we have it.

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