Brighton Pier burns

Posted Wednesday, February 5, 2003 4:54 AM | Contributed by laurence

Brighton Pier caught fire Tuesday as seven crews with 50 firefighters from the East and West Sussex brigades were called to the tourist attraction. A fairground ride was destroyed but the pier is not thought to have suffered any structural damage.

Read more from the BBC.

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Wednesday, February 5, 2003 7:58 AM
yea well the pier collapsed about a month ago when we had extreme weather conditions. It was a pity because the pier was really old and look good.

any one way down on the south coast see anything?

Wednesday, February 5, 2003 8:32 AM
brighton actually has 2 piers. the west pier (which recently fell partly into the sea) has been abandoned for many years, and brighton pier which caught fire last night is the newer pier.

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Wednesday, February 5, 2003 9:41 AM
oh lol sorry never been down there so didn't know... damn
Wednesday, February 5, 2003 10:40 AM
I can confirm what rides wer now damaged/destroyed

It seems that the fire started in the Ghost Train as this is complety destroyed, Also the Turbo Coaster has been damaged, The Canoe Type Ride outside the Ghost Train is damaged, The Mini Bumper Boats also outside the Ghost Train is damaged, and The Helter Skelter has also received damage.

The Rest of the Rides are OK though, and the damage overall is not as bad at first thought, so with a bit of luck, That part of the Pier could be restored quite easily. Also the big relief is that the structure for the Pier is actually fine, and apparently they even let people back on the Pier today too :)

Wednesday, February 5, 2003 8:22 PM
I hate to look on the down side of things, but has anyone considered that the Peir owners might have torched it themselves to try and avoid lawsuits, for the people that almosted died, becuase of the 6 foot section of track missing from the ride Turbo (a Pinfari looping Zyklon model) on Dec 12.

The track was removed for maintenance, and the ride ops sent the frist train of the day fully loaded with people, without so much as doing a test run.

I tried to fine the offical news story with video but to no luck, but a wonderful gave us the info as it happened, the story is about halfway down the page so you'll have to scroll to find it.

Thursday, February 6, 2003 9:41 AM
Does anybody know how the fire got started? Man, that's horrible it must have been a pretty bad fire to attract 50 firefighter.

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Thursday, February 6, 2003 12:30 PM
Herald - I dont think that at all, because

a) The People are not going ahead with lawsuits as far as I am aware, as it was not actually life threating, it was only a small piece of track removed for heaven sakes. I've seen the gap under that piece of track, and its quite small, they would have only suffered minor injuries if it did come off the tracks.

b) they definatly would not have died, as I said, it was hardly a life threating situation, but I suppose it does question the situation of why the ride was released with the track out of place anyway, there should be some kind of safety measure to ensure this would never happen on a coaster.

c) I'm quite sure the owners did not plan it, afterall, the coaster re-opened soon afterwards so it must have got the OK from safety inspectors, basiclly It was just a very bad error from a operator who was not trained to be working on the ride and he literally invited people to have a ride not knowing it was out for maintenance, so it was his error, and I'm sure they sacked him soon afterwards anyway.

Also it sounds like the blaze did indeed start in the Ghost Train as that was complety destroyed, and other rides around it were damaged, so this is the most likely option as to what happened.If anyone wants to view some pics from Brighton Pier, and a pic of what the Ghost Train looked from the outside, view my page at

Its a shame that ride burned down, it was quite a good little ride, plus it had a small drop half way through just like Blackpool's version, I also wonder what will get rebuilt in its place????

*** This post was edited by PaulD 2/6/2003 5:31:42 PM ***

Thursday, February 6, 2003 2:11 PM
Paul, if the train had jumped the tracks, it would have fallen short and probably seriously injured or perhaps decapitated some of the riders.

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Thursday, February 6, 2003 10:35 PM
Understood on many of you points PaulD, but sadly if people think they have a good shot at getting money they'll sue.

No the acident I spoke did not take any lives, it could have even a 10 foot drop, at aboout 20 mph could have killed if not seroiursly injured someone, from say returning to work from a broken limb for 3-6 weeks. Add lossed wages with poor operations of the ride (ie having someone running the ride, who was not trained to do so). Their is your basis for a lawsuit, if this happened at Six Flags of Cedar Fair it would be.

If people have a shot to sue for big money they will.

I'm not saying this was arson, but I am saying it might not be something to rule out. The inshurence money might be enough to keep them alive through any potential lawsuits, and if there are no lawsuits then it is extra cash for the owners, almost a win-win situation.

I'm not saying they did, but it is not a posibility I'd rule out totaly.


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