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Rockfall death a 'tragic accident'

Published 19/06/2015

A woman aged in her 20s was pronounced dead following an incident on the Glamorgan coast
A woman aged in her 20s was pronounced dead following an incident on the Glamorgan coast

The death of a young woman who was hit on the head by rocks falling from a cliff was a "tragic accident," police said.

Emergency crews were called to the beach at Llantwit Major, between Swansea and Cardiff on the Glamorgan coast, shortly before 5.30pm yesterday.

A South Wales Police spokeswoman said: "South Wales Police can confirm that the 23-year-old woman whose body was found on Llantwit Major Beach yesterday died in a tragic accident.

"It is believed that she sustained injuries when rocks fell from above.

"There are no suspicious circumstances in connection to this accident."

It is understood the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Welsh Ambulance Service said it was called to reports that a rock had fallen on the woman's head and "unfortunately she suffered fatal injuries from that".

A kitchen assistant at the Beach Cafe in Llantwit Major said a friend of the victim was treated for shock following the incident.

The cafe worker, called Nicola, said: "It was horrible. A lady was here with blood on her face. She was her friend. She was OK but she was in shock."

South Wales Police have appealed for anyone who was visiting the beach at the time to come forward.

Milford Haven Coastguard said it sent staff to assist police and ambulance crews, while Wales Air Ambulance is also believed to have been called out.

A spokeswoman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: "Llantwit Coastguard rescue team were called in to help by South Wales Police and Welsh Ambulance Service.

"We were asked to help them to evacuate a woman who suffered head injuries at Llantwit Major beach."

Llantwit Major beach is a popular surfing spot and is known for its rock pools and clifftop scenery.

There are numerous signs along the beach warning about the danger of falling rocks.

The Llantwit Major Events group said on Twitter that a beach party which was due to take place today has been postponed.

In 2012, a young woman died after being buried by tonnes of rock following the collapse of a cliff on a beach in Dorset.

Charlotte Blackman, 22, from Derbyshire, was killed as horrified onlookers - including her father and boyfriend - tried to reach her before another huge section of cliff gave way.

Alice Simons Denville, 23, from Marlow, Buckinghamshire, had just arrived at a nearby campsite with friends when she saw the aftermath of the incident.

She said: "We could hear the air ambulance hovering above.

"As we made our way down we were told that a rock had landed on someone and that they died.

"There were loads of police and paramedics. You could tell that something was seriously wrong.

"I saw a woman, who I think was one of her friends, who was hysterical in tears. She was really badly shaken up.

"It is shocking and terrifying. You just don't think something like that could happen.

"Had we arrived a bit earlier then it could have been us."

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