UK & World News
Dorset Beach Landslide: Dead Woman Named
A young woman who died after being buried under landslide on a beach in Dorset has been named by her uncle as Charlotte Blackman from Derbyshire.
Emergency workers had been hunting for Ms Blackman after 400 tons of rock fell on top of her on Burton Bradstock beach yesterday afternoon.
Dorset Police confirmed the body of a 22-year-old was located at around 9.40pm.
Emergency services believe the heavy rain over the last few weeks combined with the recent heatwave caused the landslip.
Witnesses said Ms Blackman was walking along the beach with her boyfriend and his father when they were caught up in the landslip.
The two men were pulled from the rocks by bystanders, but they were unable to locate Ms Blackman who was walking directly under the rock fall, according to reports.
She was named by her uncle, Douglas Blackman, who wrote on his Facebook page that he was "so very, very sad we lost Charlotte yesterday".
"We will always remember her," he said.
"My thoughts are with my brother and his family in their darkest hour. Thank you to all (who) answered my request."
Witness Len Muggeridge said he was fishing off Burton Rocks when he heard "a large thunder-like sound".
"We looked up and half of the cliff towards Freshwater had fallen down," he told Sky News.
"Within 20 minutes there were people tramping over the top of it and then a second fall occurred."
Mr Muggeridge said there had been two or three big falls over the last 15 years and regular smaller falls.
"That cliff could come down at any time," he said.
Search crews used dogs and specialist listening devices to try to locate the missing woman amid fears of further rock falls at the site, which is known locally as Hive Beach.
But around nine hours after the search operation was launched, the worst fears of emergency workers were realised.
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 County Council issued a warning to visitors and walkers of the risk of landslides, following the heavy rain.
The tragedy comes two weeks after Somerset couple Rosemary Snell, 67, and Michael Rolfe, 72, were killed in a landslide at the Beaminster Tunnel just nine miles away.
The area was also hit by severe flooding which left much of the community under water.