A raging fire has ripped through the iconic arcade building on the East Sussex coast

Eastbourne Pier has gone up in flames after

a fire began in the wall panelling of the arcade building.

Around 60 firefighters, along with lifeboat

crews are tackling the blaze as hundreds of beach-goers watch on.

In a number of pictures posted on social

media, thick black smoke can be seen billowing from the roof of the arcade

building as flames rip through its structure.

The entire pier has been evacuated and so

far emergency services are not aware of any injuries and casualties.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said:

“We were alerted to reports of a small fire – believed to be in wall panelling –

in part of the pier housing arcade games.

“Due to the nature of the building

involved, a number of crews have been sent to the scene, including those from

Eastbourne, Uckfield, Pevensey and Halisham.

“They [fire crews] are attacking the fire

from the coastal side of the building, from the beach and from underneath the

pier.

“A large plume of smoke can be seen above

Eastbourne.”

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Image credit: Jon Bathard-Smith