Brighton's i360: Fireworks called off at world's thinnest tower

Vistor pod Image copyright British Airways i360
Image caption The 360-degree pod comprises 24 segments of handmade Italian glass.

A fireworks display for the opening of the world's thinnest tall building has been called off because of bad weather in the English Channel.

The first public "flight" on the 531ft (161m) British Airways i360 tower on Brighton seafront is at 14:00 BST, with fireworks planned for 22:00 BST.

Fireworks were to have been set off on a boat off Brighton beach but it has been unable to get to the location.

Organisers blamed high seas caused by a storm off the Sussex coast.

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Media captionHow does i360 compare with other buildings around the world?

Visitors to the i360 ascend 450ft (137m) in a 360-degree curved-glass pod on the site once occupied by the entrance to Brighton's ruined West Pier.

The attraction itself, which is fully booked on the opening day, will operate as planned.

The fireworks will be rearranged for another date, with tickets remaining valid.

Image copyright British Airways i360
Image caption View of Brighton from the i360 to the east
Image copyright British Airways i360
Image caption View of Hove from the i360 to the west

The tower, which offers views of up to 26 miles of Sussex coastline, has divided local opinion.

Valerie Paynter, of the saveHove campaign, said it was "like something springing horribly out of the earth in a horror movie".

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Media captionThe architects of Brighton's i360 respond to "infantile" tower nicknames

But Glynn Jones, chairman of the West Pier Trust, thought the "vertical pier in the sky" showed "the city is, once again, embracing and celebrating world-class, stunning architecture".

Those going on board can see from Bexhill in East Sussex to Chichester in West Sussex with the South Downs to the north.

i360 in numbers

  • Trips last 20 min and cost £13.50 for adults and £6.75 for children
  • The tower consists of 17 steel "cans" or tubes made in Rotterdam
  • It contains 1,336 bolts weighing 30 tonnes
  • The viewing pod is 59ft (18m) wide - 10 times bigger than a London eye capsule

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