A woman mauled to death at a Surrey beauty spot was attacked by “multiple dogs” and screamed at passers-by to “turn back”, a witness has said.
Paramedics were unable to save the 28-year-old victim after she was attacked at Gravelly Hill, Caterham, on Thursday.
A second woman who received treatment for dog bites has since left hospital.
An eyewitness told Sky News she was riding on horseback with her friend when they saw the woman who was killed on the floor “being attacked by multiple dogs”.
Sue Dove said: “She screamed at us to turn back and with that, two of the loose dogs ran towards us and the horses… my horse spun round and bolted and I eventually fell.”
The witness said she had been left feeling “lots of different emotions”.
She added: “(I feel) sadness that a woman has lost her life, but frustrated people are able to walk so many dogs.
“This lady was clearly out of control for whatever reason, had fallen to the ground, being attacked.
“Because of those consequences and two of the dogs running towards us, my horse bolted and I fell from my horse, landing on my right side, on my ribs and hip.
“Fortunately, my horse eventually stopped and my friend was able to get to him. Otherwise, as flight animals, this could have been another horrific accident if he kept going.”
Area popular with dog walkers
Surrey Police detained a total of eight dogs and detectives are keeping their owners up to date with the investigation.
No arrests have been made.
Richard Bream, who runs the nearby Mardens Kennels, said he had never heard of a dog attack in the area before.
He said: “That particular area, View Point, is an area where professional dog walkers will turn up in their van and take the dogs out and walk them.
“I’ve always felt you see some of these dog walkers have five or six, and they shouldn’t be able to do that.”
A man at an address near the scene, who asked not to be named, said: “The dogs dispersed into different areas of the woods and the police helicopter was out looking for them.”
A woman walking a border collie in the area, who asked not to be named, said she was shocked by the incident.
“It’s a nice circular woodland walk and we’ve never had any issues before. It is so shocking, normal dogs surely wouldn’t do that,” she said.
A post-mortem examination will be conducted by the Surrey coroner.
In an update on Friday, Inspector Lyndsey Whatley, borough commander for Tandridge, said: “This is a tragic incident where a young woman has sadly lost her life and our thoughts are with her family and friends.
“I know that yesterday’s events will be of real concern to the local community and I would like to reassure residents that we are confident all the dogs involved are in the custody of police whilst we investigate the circumstances of what has happened.
“Officers will remain in the area of Gravelly Hill today whilst enquiries continue and if you have any information but have not yet spoken to police then please contact us.”
Firefighters have urged people to stop using barbecues and remove rubbish in open areas to help prevent fires in hot weather – as yet more blazes have broken out.
At least eight hectares of land were affected by a fire declared a major incident on Sunday, at Hankley Common, near Farnham in Surrey, which has previously been used to film part of the James Bond blockbuster Skyfall.
Crews are expected to remain at the scene through Monday.
And fire crews in London had also been battling wildfires – with blazes in Rammey Marsh in Enfield, Cranford Park in Hayes and Thamesmead, all described as “weather related”.
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Appealing to the public for help, London Fire Brigade urged people to cancel all planned barbecues, remove rubbish, especially glass, from grassland and dispose of cigarettes properly.
The service tweeted: “Please help us prevent further fires by cancelling all planned BBQs, removing rubbish especially glass from grassland & disposing cigarettes correctly. Our firefighters & control officers are doing a fantastic job in challenging conditions. Your co-operation will help us greatly.”
Surrey Fire Service joined the call. It said: “Speak to young relatives about safety outdoors, pack a picnic instead of a BBQ, dispose of cigarettes and litter correctly.”
Temperatures across the southeast of England reached 29C (84F) on Sunday, according to the Met Office.
Images of blackened ground were tweeted by the fire service after the Enfield grass fire at Rammey Marsh over an area of 20 hectares was brought under control.
Some 70 firefighters were sent to the grass fire in Cranford Park, Hayes, where around five hectares of grass and shrubland were alight and smoke spread across west London.
Big Jet TV, which live commentates on planes landing at Heathrow, said visibility was reduced at the airport, sharing a picture of a smoke covered runway from the nearby fire.
Meanwhile, in Thamesmead around 65 firefighters and the fire boat dealt with a grass fire on Defence Close.
The UK has been experiencing a heatwave with a record-breaking high of 40.3C, in Coningsby, Lincolnshire, on Tuesday.
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That day the fire service saw its busiest day since the Second World War as a result of the extreme temperatures with crews attending 1,146 incidents on that day alone.
The fire service in Surrey has declared a major incident as crews battle an open fire – as crews in the capital fight three other large blazes, with people in west London told to keep their doors and windows shut.
In Surrey, a fire at Hankley Common near Farnham has drawn “several fire engines” to the area.
The fire service tweeted: “There is a great deal of smoke so please avoid the area, windows and doors should be closed if nearby and pets kept indoors.”
Read more: Dramatic satellite pictures show the impact of the heatwave as high temperatures hit country
Pictures online show plumes of smoke rising over the county, with people as far away as Guildford reporting they can see it.
The fire service later tweeted to ask those nearby to stop calling 999 to report smoke clouds, after receiving “an incredibly high” number of calls.
It added some local roads have been closed as a result of the incident.
Fire crews in London are also battling wildfires – with blazes in Rammey Marsh in Enfield, and Cranford Park in Hayes.
In Enfield, close to Epping Forest, London Fire Brigade (LFB) said around 100 firefighters were battling the grass fire, which had grown to the size of four football pitches.
The service urged people to help prevent further fires by not having barbeques and disposing of cigarettes correctly.
A fire in Hayes can be seen from across west London, with the LFB adding 70 firefighters are at the scene. It says people in the area should close doors and windows.
Big Jet TV, which live commentates on planes landing at Heathrow, says that visibility is reducing at the airport, sharing a picture of a smoke covered runway from the nearby fire at Hayes.
In east London near Newham, another fire is being dealt with in Thamesmead. LFB say 65 firefighters and a fire boat are at the scene close to London City Airport, with those nearby asked to keep doors and windows closed.
It comes after a swathe of wildfires in London and the surrounding area after last week’s record temperatures left the ground tinder-box dry.
The UK hit record temperatures on Tuesday, with Coningsby in Lincolnshire reaching a sweltering 40.3C (104.5F) – the first time since records began that the mercury has exceeded 40C in the country.
Some parts of the UK saw significant damage as a result of the extreme heat, such as house and wildfires, melting airport runways and expanding railway tracks.