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(SKY NEWS) – A nine-year-old girl has died after suffering head injuries in a rock fall on a beach in North Yorkshire, police have confirmed.
Emergency services were called to Seaton Garth in Staithes at 4.45pm after reports the girl had been injured.
Despite the efforts of the emergency services, she died at the scene, North Yorkshire Police said.
“Her family are currently being supported by specialist trained officers,” the force added in a statement.
Police, fire, ambulance, air ambulance and coastguard all attended the incident.
A helicopter landed on the beach to allow medics to treat the girl.
Eyewitnesses told the BBC the girl had been on holiday with her family and the incident happened at a spot where there were warning signs about the cliff.
They described the cliff fall as “particularly serious”.
Staithes coastguard confirmed a section of the cliff fell.
In a statement, it said: “The team were tasked today to an incident in Staithes. Numerous calls were made to the emergency services after a section of the cliff fell.
“Thank you to all the Emergency Services, Coastguard Teams and personnel for their very best efforts.”
A spokesperson for North East Ambulance said: “We were called today at 4.18pm about a child who had sustained a serious head injury as a result of a rock slide at the South Pier at Staithes, near Saltburn.
“We dispatched a number of resources including 4 hazardous area response crews, an ambulance, a rapid response vehicle and an officer and requested support from the Great North Air Ambulance Service.”
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) said in a statement: “The RNLI can confirm that volunteer crew members of Staithes and Runswick Lifeboat Station responded to a rock fall at Seaton Garth in Staithes this afternoon.
“The RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew attended to a child who sadly died at the scene. The RNLI, and in particular the volunteers of Staithes and Runswick Lifeboat Station, would like to share their deepest condolences with the child’s family.”
Local people used social media to discuss the unfolding tragedy.
One Twitter user, @screenhouseprod, posted: “So sad in Staithes to hear a young girl has lost her life in a rockfall. Condolences to her family and all involved in today’s shocking event and emergency response.”
Another, @OliverIsWriting, located in Staithes, said the village was “very solemn” as the news spread.
The nearby village of Runswick Bay tweeted: “We are very sorry to learn of the tragedy at our neighbouring village #Staithes this evening. Sincere condolences to the young girls family & huge thanks & credit to @Staithes_RNLI @CoastguardNE @GNairambulance @NorthYorksFire @NYorksRPG & all emergency services involved.”