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Last Updated: Saturday, 5 August 2006, 10:07 GMT 11:07 UK
Fire-damaged pier fully reopens
The fire at Southend Pier
The main buildings were not fitted with sprinklers
Southend Pier has completely reopened to the public after it was partially destroyed by a huge fire.

Since the blaze last October, visitors were allowed on to the pier, but the Pier Head remained closed.

These restrictions were lifted on Saturday when the structure passed final health and safety tests.

The cost of rebuilding the pier, which was opened in 1889, is thought to have cost Southend-on-Sea Borough Council millions of pounds.

An Essex Fire Service report into the blaze said if sprinklers had been fitted within the main buildings the fire could have been avoided.

The pier has now been fitted with fire sensors.

The council has yet to decide what will be built on the newly restored section of pier.

At 1.34 miles (2.16km), Southend Pier is the longest pleasure pier in the world.


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