Essex

Southend Pier: engineers assess damage caused by barge

Engineers are to survey the damage caused to Southend Pier after it was struck by a contractor's barge.

A half-mile exclusion zone has been set up around the pier after a section of its walkway was damaged on Tuesday.

The barge was moored beside the pier and was pushed into it by heavy swell and extreme weather, Southend Borough Council said.

Anyone who goes on foot or by boat within half a mile of the pier would risk being arrested, it added.

The severe weather continued on Tuesday and prevented structural engineers finding out what repairs were needed, the council said.

The 80ft (24m) barge was used to store steel for contractors replacing a fire main at the far end of the 1.3-mile (2.16km) pier.

The structure is one of the longest pleasure piers in the world.

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