Eastbourne Pier fire 'suspicious'

Police suspect arson


Eastbourne Pier fire photos

A fire that destroyed 144-year-old Eastbourne Pier in East Sussex is being treated as suspicious, police say.

Officers believe the blaze, which ripped through the dome-shaped amusement arcade, "may have been started by someone, either deliberately or accidentally".

Detective Inspector Mark O'Brien of Sussex Police told the BBC: "As a result of our investigation we have received information to suggest that the fire may have been started by someone... and our investigation is now focusing on that line of inquiry."

He added: "A temporary scaffold platform has been erected adjacent to where the fire is thought to have broken out in order to enable scenes of crime officers and fire investigators safe access to the area."

The Grade II-listed Victorian attraction was engulfed in flames on Wednesday. Tourists looked on in horror as East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service crews rushed to the scene.

Channel 4 News reports that Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne visited the 1,000ft pier on Friday as they announced that £2m would be given to help tourist hotspot Eastbourne recover from the loss of the attraction.

Mr Cameron said: "I know that the loss of one of Eastbourne's most prominent and well-loved landmarks will have hit the town hard and I am determined to do all I can to help local businesses recover."

Eastbourne Pier Fire Is Possible Arson

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