Dorset cliff landslide: Body found in hunt for woman

Landslide at Hive Beach The landslide happened on Hive Beach, just before 12:30 BST on Tuesday

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A body has been found under hundreds of tonnes of rocks which fell in a massive landslip from cliffs above a Dorset beach.

The rocks came down on Tuesday afternoon at Hive Beach near Freshwater Beach Holiday Park at Bridport.

Dorset Police said the body is believed to be a 22-year-old woman who had been reported missing earlier.

The body was found at 21:40 BST within the 10m (33ft) high pile of fallen rocks.

A police spokesperson said: "Next of kin [of the missing woman] have been informed and family liaison officers are with them.

Start Quote

We just saw a huge cloud of yellow dust from the cliff”

End Quote Liz Rice Eyewitness

"At this time there are no further reports of missing people, and the search is now being stood down.

"It is believed the incident was a tragic accident and our thoughts are with the family of the victim at this very difficult time."

'Trapped'

The beach forms part of the historic Jurassic Coast - from Swanage in Dorset to Exmouth in Devon - sections of which have been crumbling into the sea for years.

Last week, Dorset Council issued a warning to visitors and walkers of the risk of landslips following persistent heavy rain.

A Maritime and Coastguard Agency spokeswoman said: "Portland Coastguard received a report of a landslide between Freshwater and Burton Bradstock at just before 12.30pm.

"The landslide was reported to be 400m from Freshwater caravan park and the caller reported that a person was trapped under the fallen rocks."

Three coastguard teams, helicopters and sniffer dogs were joined by police, firefighters, ambulance and lifeboat crews in the search and rescue effort.

Eyewitness Liz Rice said: "We just saw a huge cloud of yellow dust from the cliff.

"Clearly the some of the cliff had fallen on to the beach and within 20 minutes the emergency services had arrived."

The incident comes two weeks after Somerset couple Rosemary Snell and Michael Rolfe were killed in a landslide, nine miles away at the Beaminster Tunnel.

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