Cops hunt for seriously ill boy taken from UK hospital

London - British and French police launched a major hunt on Friday to find a seriously ill young boy taken from a hospital by his parents, saying that unless he was found quickly his life could be at risk.

Ashya King, 5, who has a brain tumour, was removed from Southampton General Hospital in southern England by his mother, Naghemeh, and father, Brett, on Thursday afternoon and later, with his six siblings, the family boarded a ferry to France.

"If we do not locate Ashya today there are serious concerns for his life," said Detective Superintendent Dick Pearson.

"He is receiving constant medical care within the UK due to recent surgery and ongoing medical issues. Without this specialist, 24-hour care Ashya is at risk of additional health complications which place him at substantial risk."

Police said the family were travelling in a grey Hyundai car while Ashya, who cannot communicate verbally and is immobile, was likely to be in a wheelchair or a buggy.