A SCHOOLGIRL who died in a rockfall as she walked on a beach with her mum was killed by a single stone in a “one-in-a-million” freak accident.
The nine-year-old had been playing with her mum in rock pools on Seaton Garth beach in Staithes, North Yorks, when she was hit on the head.
BackGrid The emergency services say they received a number of calls after a section of the cliff fell
She was just 30ft away from steps leading up from the beach and was cradled by her distraught mum as horrified onlookers ran for help.
The girl, who hasn’t been named, suffered suffered serious head injuries following the horror on Wednesday and couldn’t be saved.
Staithes harbour master and local councillor Norman Fowler, 71, was among passers-by who rushed to the girl’s aid.
He told the Mirror: “She was walking on the rocks with her mum and a stone hit her on the head. It was a freak accident. It was a one-in-a-million chance.”
Air ambulances arrive at the scene where a nine-year-girl was killed by collapsing cliff
North News and Pictures A warning sign on cliffs at Staithes in North Yorkshire close to the spot where a nine-year-old girl was tragically killed in a rock fall
PA:Press Association Fire crews were among the emergency responders to rush to Staithes harbour after the tragedy
BackGrid Fire crews, ambulances and air ambulance attended the front of the seaside village of Staithes
It is believed the pair were visiting the village from the South of England, with the mum now being comforted by specialist officers from North Yorkshire Police.
Mr Fowler said: “I saw the lady cradling her in her arms.
“I sat with the mum. She was incoherent, crying. She was shaking and in shock.
“The cliffs just crumble occasionally. It wasn’t a landslide. It was just one piece of stone.
“It only has to be the size of a fist when it’s falling from that high on the cliff.”
Emergency services had rushed to the scene but couldn’t save the little girl
BBC News The cliff crumbled yesterday, claiming the life of a nine-year-old girl
North News and Pictures Police tape barring entrance to the beach at Staithes Girl, nine, dies after cliff collapsed on her on North Yorkshire coast
It is not the first rock fall tragedy to happen along the British coastline.
In June 2015 Georgina Le Fjord died after she was hit on the head by a rock falling from a cliff on a beach at Llantwit Major, between Swansea and Cardiff on the Glamorgan coast.
The 23-year-old, known to friends as Georgie Ford and originally from Salisbury, had been having a picnic with a friend and was said to be sitting about five metres away from the cliff when a rock hit her.
Three years earlier 22-year-old Charlotte Blackman died after being buried by tonnes of rock following the collapse of a cliff on a beach in Dorset.