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Last Updated: Monday October 10 2005 10:35 GMT

Fire burns through Southend Pier

Southend Pier
A fire has destroyed part of Southend Pier in Essex, which is the longest pleasure pier in the world.

Police think the fire on Sunday may have been started on purpose, and firefighters are still working to make sure it is completely out.

Around 60 firefighter were called to the blaze, with some flames stretching as high as 10 metres above the pier.

Part of the pier's wooden floor, a pub and other buildings have fallen into the water in the Thames Estuary.

At 1.34 miles (2.15 kilometres), Southend Pier is the longest in the world.

For a while there worries about some fishermen who may have been missing, but police have confirmed everyone has been accounted for.

The fire is the fourth to hit the pier in the last 50 years.

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