Pack of dogs
A pack of six stray dogs in western India mauled a boy, aged around eight or nine, to death after he accidentally fell on one of them - File photo Reuters

An eight-year-old boy in western India was mauled to death by a pack of six stray dogs after he accidentally fell on one of them. His body had nearly 15 dog bite marks, police reportedly said.

The incident took place on Sunday afternoon (17 September) when the victim and his friend were walking on an elevated pipeline near their house in Bhiwandi city in Mahrashtra state's Thane district.

The child was identified as Dhiraj Yadav, a grade two student. The boy's friend, Salman Ansari, also aged eight, told police that the pipeline they were walking on ran along a garbage dumping ground, The Times of India reported.

Yadav slipped off the pipeline and fell on a stray dog that was scavenging in the dumping zone along with its pack. The dog on which Yadav fell started yelping in pain, triggering the violent reaction from the pack. They started attacking Yadav and by the time a passerby came to their rescue, the boy was severely wounded.

His rescuer shooed the dogs away and alerted police, who transferred the injured child to Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital in Bhiwandi. He was later moved to the district hospital where he was declared dead on arrival.

"Dhiraj ran when the dogs started chasing him. But he slipped and fell and the dogs pounced on him," Dinesh Katke, senior police inspector, was quoted by The Hindustan Times newspaper as saying.

"His friend saw him being attacked by the dogs, but was scared and he ran away. A passer-by spotted the dogs mauling the boy and alerted others," the officer added.

"A part of the child's abdomen and leg had been ripped off leading to blood loss and ultimately causing death," said Dr Jayshree Dongare from the Bhiwandi hospital. Police registered a case of accidental death.