A father has spoken about the scene “like a horror film” that greeted him after a dog attacked several children in a play park.
Nine children were rushed to hospital last night after a Staffordshire bull terrier got into the play area and bit the youngsters.
Up to 30 frightened children had tried to escape the dog by climbing on the park’s climbing frame, before the dog was captured and tied up to a fence.
Emergency services were called to the park next to Burns Avenue, in Blyth, at 6.30pm on Wednesday.
An emergency triage station was set up by paramedics to deal with the injuries at the scene before the injured children were taken to hospital.
Adam Mulvey, who lives opposite the park, was first on the scene after being told his seven-year-old daughter Olivia was one of those attacked.
Speaking from the RVI in Newcastle while waiting for his daughter to undergo surgery, he said: “I was first there.
“A little girl knocked on my door saying kids were trapped in the park and one of them was my daughter and had been hurt.
“I ran outside, jumped over the fence to be greeted by all of the girls on top of the climbing frame.
“I managed to grab the dog and sit on it, a neighbour came out with a dog lead and was able to tie it up to the fence, before going off to check on the girls.
“I told the girls to go and sit on my lawn so the emergency services knew who had been injured and could deal with them.
“It was like a scene out of a horror film.
“My daughter has been bitten three times while another was bitten 17 times and has a chuck of flesh taken out of her leg.
“It was horrific.”
He added: “Doctors are looking at a potential skin graft to cover the hole in Olivia’s leg or stitching it, which will leave a tight scar.”
It is believed a teenage girl had been asked to take the dog for a walk and, after taking a shortcut, ended up next to the play area.
The dog then saw children playing with a ball, and managed to follow a girl through the gate and into the park.
Mr Mulvey said: “I don’t blame the girl who took the dog, she thought she was doing someone a favour.”
The dog was taken away by police shortly after the incident.
A police spokesperson said: “At around 6.30pm police received reports of a dog that had bitten a number of children in the park next to Burns Avenue in Blyth.
“Emergency services attended and police were able to bring the animal under control.
“A number of children were taken to hospital with bite wounds by paramedics but none of the injuries are thought to be serious.
“Police remain in the area to reassure the local community and carry out enquiries to locate the animal’s owner. The dog is currently at secure kennels while officers carry out their investigation.”