Nine pilot whales die stranded on Spain's northern coast

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Nine stranded pilot whales have died on a beach on Spain's northern coast but local authorities and residents managed to help others back at sea, the regional government said on Tuesday.

The whales were spotted on Monday on the Moris beach, in Carreno, Asturias. Officials and volunteers worked until late at night to help them, the Asturias government said.

"Half a dozen have managed to return to the sea, although they remain close to the coast. Efforts are now focused on keeping them from returning to the beach," it said.

The bodies of the nine dead whales will undergo an autopsy in the nearby town of Gijon.

Images of stranded whales attracted worldwide attention earlier this month in Australia, where hundreds died.

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