Burton Bradstock Landslide

Inquest takes place today into death of a woman crushed by rocks at Burton Bradstock, Dorset.

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Landslide victim '10ft from safety'

Charlotte Blackman
Charlotte Blackman was killed after a landslide at Burton Bradstock. Credit: Family photograph

A young woman killed when she was trapped underneath a substantial rockfall at a coastal beauty spot in Dorset was "10ft from safety", an inquest has heard.

Charlotte Blackman, 22, was strolling along Freshwater Beach with her family when around 400 tonnes of rock from the Jurassic Coastline cliffs crashed down on top of her, killing her almost instantly.

Her boyfriend, Matthew Carnell, was walking alongside Miss Blackman, from Derbyshire, on July 24 when he noticed the start of the landslide.

The inquest at Dorchester County Hall heard that she died accidentally, as the result of an "act of nature".

Coroner Sheriff Payne told the hearing that Miss Blackman's death could not have been predicted.

He said: "Sadly, Charlotte Blackman died as a result of an accident. It was a sudden act of nature that nobody could have predicted at that time."

Inquest into death of woman crushed by rocks in Dorset

Burton Bradstock
The inquest resumes into the death of a 22 year old holiday-maker who was crushed by rocks at Burton Bradstock. Credit: ITV Westcountry

An inquest will resume today into the death of a woman who was crushed by 400 tonnes of rock that fell from a cliff at Burton Bradstock in Dorset.

22 year old Charlotte Blackman, from Derbyshire, was on holiday with her family and boyfriend when the accident happened.

Today's hearing, at Dorchester county hall, is expected to last one day.

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Beaches in Dorset re-open after landslide

The landslide at Burton Bradstock was surveyed by the BGS Landslide Response Team. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire

Beaches along the Jurassic Coast in Dorset have reopened.

They were closed after a 22-year-old woman died in a landslide in Burton Bradstock on Tuesday. Charlotte Blackman was crushed by 400 tonnes of rock.

Dorset County Council says the stretch between the Freshwater Holiday Park and Hive beach remains closed until further safety assessments have been carried out.

Geologists confirm a combination of factors caused landslide

The landslide at Burton Bradstock was surveyed by the BGS Landslide Response Team. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire

The British Geological Survey (BGS) Landslide Response Team have returned from Dorset with an initial assessment of the landslide at Burton Bradstock.

Their report says the landslide, which tragically killed a young woman from Derbyshire, was due to a combination of factors including fractures in the rocks, coastal erosion (that has undermined the cliff) and the recent wet weather.

Dr Helen Reeves, Head of the Landslide Response Team at the BGS, said:

“For this time of year, there have been an unusually large number of landslide events. This is reflected in the BGS National Landslide Database records which show 13 similar events have occurred in the past month.

This is more than 10 times what might normally be expected at this time of year”.

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Emergency services hoped to find landslip victim alive

Dorset Police described today how throughout the nine hour operation to find a woman trapped by a landslip they had hoped they would find her alive. They told ITV West Country today that it had very much been a 'search and rescue' operation rather than a 'search and recovery' one.

After a painstaking operation the body of 22-year-old Charlotte Blackman was pulled from the rubble.

In this extended interview with Inspector Mike Darby from Dorset Police he describes what is being done following yesterday's tragic events.

Cliff fall warning for East Devon

People are being warned to be careful walking near cliffs in East Devon. It follows the death of a woman in West Dorset yesterday and several recent cliff falls along the East Devon coastline.

People need to pay attention to the signs which are in place, not access beaches where barriers have been placed and avoid getting close to the cliffs. The large amounts of rain we have had over the last three months have destabilised a number of the cliff faces and it can be very difficult to predict when or where the next fall will occur.

– Iain Chubb, East Devon District council

Work is ongoing in Devon to make safe landslip sites at Budleigh Salterton, Sidmouth, Seaton and Axmouth Harbour.

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