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Huge blaze tears through historic pier

A massive blaze destroyed part of Southend's historic pier today.
Around 60 firefighters tackled flames leaping 30 to 40 feet into the air as the 'absolutely huge' inferno engulfed up to 130 feet of the structure in Essex - the world's longest pleasure pier.

In the early hours several buildings, including the Jolly Fisherman pub and a fish and chip shop, collapsed into the Thames estuary, taking part of the pier's wooden floor with them.