The Perilous life of a pier!

A fire has erupted at Eastbourne Pier after one of the arcade buildings caught light at the popular seaside resort.
Six fire engines and 60 firefighters are at the scene battling the blaze after police evacuated scores of tourists and beachgoers from the attraction.
Five lifeboats have also been launched amid reports some people may have leapt from the pier into the sea.
The emergency services were alerted to the blaze at around 3.15pm when a small fire in some wall panelling in an arcade took hold and quickly spread across the two-storey main building at the front of the pier.
Dramatic footage and images taken by onlookers showed its roof entirely consumed by giant, leaping flames.
Dave Clarke, a witness, told Sky News: “The front of the pier is totally alight. Smoke is going hundreds of feet into the air and is being blown down the beach. It is totally out of control at the moment.
“There are helicopters overhead and they have closed the roads off down here.
“There are lifeboats to make sure there is nobody stuck at the end of the pier.”
He added: “People are relatively calm, but shocked.”
Chris Caulfield, a guest house owner in the area, said: “It is one of the biggest attractions in Eastbourne.
“It is such a shame that this has happened. It is shocking.”
She said the pier was “exceptionally maintained” and “vital” to businesses in the area.
“People of all ages went onto that pier: It is just going to be devastating when this is gone.”
Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd, who’s office is situated near the attraction, said he hoped the pier, which was built in 1870, was “rescuable”.
“If this had happened at night, there can sometimes be upwards of 700-800 young people there, and so thankfully that has not happened, but obviously we are looking at a disaster here,” said the Liberal Democrat.
“We are praying the fire can be put out before too much damage is done. A good three quarters of the pier, behind the front, looks to be in tact,” he added.
Eastbourne Borough Council, which is liaising with the owners of the pier, Cuerden Leisure, said in a statement: “Our first concern is for the safety of all those who work on the pier and those who were visiting the pier today. “It is tragic to see this much loved Victorian landmark on fire.”
Sussex Police said no-one appeared to be trapped on the pier, adding they were not treating the blaze as suspicious.
It is not the first pier to suffer from a blaze. Hastings Pier was almost totally destroyed by fire in 2010, and the Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare was badly damaged by a blaze in 2008.

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