Eastbourne Pier contractors to resume work after death

Air ambulance on the scene
Image caption The air ambulance was called to the pier following last week's incident

Contractors are due to resume their repairs of Eastbourne's fire-damaged pier following the death of a workman.

Stephen Penrice, 44, from Cumbria, was pronounced dead at the scene after falling on to the beach last Tuesday.

The Victorian structure had been sealed off since the incident, but Sussex Police said they had now finished their forensic investigations.

The death of Mr Penrice continues to be investigated jointly by Sussex Police and the Health and Safety Executive.

Eastbourne Borough Council said the pier had been released back to the owner, Cuerden Leisure.

Image caption The fire left the pier severely damaged but it is hoped it can reopen this year

Mr Penrice was part of a team of specialist pier maintenance and repair workers and had regularly worked on the pier for about seven years.

The fire on 30 July destroyed about a third of the 144-year-old Grade II-listed structure.

At the height of the fire, up to 80 firefighters, together with RNLI crews, tackled the blaze, which police say may have been started deliberately.

It broke out behind some wood panelling in the arcade building, sending huge plumes of smoke into the air.

The owners of the pier have said it could be partially open by Christmas.

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