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ATHERTON, ENGLAND — A fourteen-year-old girl was killed Tuesday afternoon when she was attacked by a pack of 'out-of-control' dogs while eating pie at a friend's house near the city of Manchester in northwest England, police said. Four of the dogs were killed by armed police officers.
The incident was reported shortly after 2 p.m. local time on Tuesday when someone reported seeing an unconscious teenage girl and out-of-control dogs at a house in Atherton, a town about 10 miles (16 kilometers) northwest of Manchester. Police officers were quick to arrive at the scene.
A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police said the officers were confronted by several dogs which were described as "aggressive and out-of-control." One dog was securely contained inside the house while four other dogs were killed by armed police officers, the spokesperson said, without elaborating how the dogs were killed.
It is believed the girl, identified as Jade Anderson, did not live at the house but was staying with a friend for the first few days of the Easter holidays. She was alone and reportedly eating a meat pie when the dogs began their vicious attack, biting her all over her body as she tried to fight them off.
Police said the remains of the four dogs would be examined to determine their exact breed. "But indications are that two of the dogs may be Bullmastiffs and two may be Staffordshire Bull Terriers," the spokesperson said. The breed of the fifth dog was not immediately disclosed and it was unclear if it participated in the attack.
"First and foremost, our thoughts are with the family of the girl who has tragically lost her life. Specialist officers are offering them every support," said Police Superintendent Mark Kenny. "While our inquiries to find out what happened are ongoing, this girl's injuries are consistent with her having been attacked by dogs."
Kenny added: "I understand this is an extremely distressing incident for all concerned, including the community, and we will work hard to establish the full circumstances that lead to this tragedy. We will be there to carry out an investigation and address any concerns residents may have."
According to the UK's Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, eight people, including six children, have been killed by dogs in the country since 2007. It said the National Health Service (NHS) spends more than 3 million pounds ($4.5 million) every year to treat injuries suffered as a result of dog attacks.