Australia

Girl killed by shark while surfing in Western Australia

An ambulance at the scene in Esperance Image copyright 9news.com.au
Image caption The girl was taken to hospital in a critical condition, but later died

A teenage girl has died after being attacked by a shark while surfing in Western Australia.

The girl, 17, had suffered critical injuries when she was pulled to shore by her father about 16:00 on Monday (09:00 GMT), police said. She later died in hospital.

The teenager's mother and two siblings were also at the scene, a popular surfing spot near Esperance.

It is the third fatal shark attack in Western Australia within 12 months.

The latest incident happened in the same area where a surfer lost his arms in a shark attack in 2014.

Neville Mansted, a professional fisherman, said he would not surf there again.

"That's twice now in the same spot. It could have been my son," he told The West Australian newspaper.

The beach will be closed for at least 48 hours while authorities investigate, but the fisheries department said a great white shark was likely to have attacked the girl.

"Since 2000 all fatal attacks in WA [Western Australia] have been caused by great whites, so you could assume safely it was a great white but we can't say for sure," AFP news agency quoted spokesman Russell Adams as saying.

In 2014 Western Australia trialled a shark cull on seven beaches using baited traps, but it proved controversial and was halted by the state's environmental regulator. More than 170 sharks were caught but none of them were great whites.

New shark nets have recently been installed at some beaches in the state, however.

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