THOUSANDS of visitors were ordered off a packed beach after four people were injured jumping off the top of Durdle Door.

Two rescue helicopters landed on the beach yesterday  afternoon.

Three of the casualties sustained serious injuries and were being treated by the ambulance service.

A police spokesman said at the time of the incident: "Officers and partner agencies are dealing with a critical incident at Durdle Door. The incident involved people jumping from the arch into the sea. Four people have been injured as a result. They are receiving medical attention.

"Emergency Services are trying to deal with the incident. We ask please that you avoid the area for the rest of the day. If you are currently at the location, please calmly make your way home so we can ensure effective service delivery.

"The arch of Durdle Door is approximately 200 feet in height. Hitting water from that height can be critical. This is further compounded by tides, currents and altering depth of the sea bed. It is not an appropriate location  for this type of activity."

Crowds of people were forced to cram into two areas in the middle and at one end of the beach while two helicopters landed at the scene.

Dorset Police appeaed to the public to stay away from Durdle Door  as emergency services are in attendance to deal with a number of casualties.

Officers were at the scene to assist the ambulance service, HM Coastguard and the RNLI with clearing the area.

Chief Inspector Claire Phillips, of Dorset Police, said: “We have had to close the beach at Durdle Door to allow air ambulances to land. As a result, we are evacuating the beach and the surrounding cliff area.

“I am urging people to leave the area to enable emergency services to treat the injured people.”