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Search for casualties after 32-foot wall at Lewes Castle collapses

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service confirmed crews were called to the scene at 12.22pm (Picture: PA/ Alamy Live News)

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service confirmed crews were called to the scene at 12.22pm (Picture: PA/ Alamy Live News)

Emergency services are searching for any trapped or injured people after the collapse of a 600 tonne wall at Lewes Castle.

Firefighters with specially trained sniffer dogs are at the scene, after parts of the historic wall collapsed on buildings.

The castle, built in the 11th century, is one of the most historic landmarks along the south coast and stands proudly over the town of Lewes.

Fire crews called in sniffer dogs and requested a drone to fly over the rubble after the wall crashed down on buildings, including the Old Coach House which is privately owned in the town’s Castle Ditch Lane.

It was not immediately known whether anyone had been standing under the castle walls when the collapse happened and a full scale search operation was mounted.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service confirmed crews were called to the scene at 12.22pm, along with search and rescue staff.

Incident commander Matt Lloyd said the wall had collapsed into an adjacent garden and house.

Alamy Live News. 2A8X7G7 Lewes, East Sussex, UK. 11th Nov 2019. 600 tonne part of Lewes Castle boundary wall collapses onto properties in Castle Ditch Lane, Lewes. Photo shows the part of the collapse into a garden, but the majority of the rubble fell 10 meters into a property the other side. Credit: Peter Cripps/Alamy Live News This is an Alamy Live News image and may not be part of your current Alamy deal . If you are unsure, please contact our sales team to check.

Lewes Castle boundary wall collapses onto properties in Castle Ditch Lane, Lewes (Picture: Alamy Live News)

He said the rubble was estimated to have had ‘hundreds of tonnes of impact’.

Mr Lloyd added: ‘I would say this is a protracted incident.’

The wall was reportedly undergoing work to remove ivy in recent weeks.

Firefighters and a hazardous area response team are at the scene of a reported wall collapse at an 11th century castle. Ambulances and police are also currently at the scene in Lewes, East Sussex. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday November 11, 2019. Emergency services including a hazardous area response team were at the scene See PA story POLICE Lewes. Photo credit should read: Michael Drummond/PA Wire

Firefighters and a hazardous area response team are at the scene following the collapse (Picture: PA)

LEWES TOWN WALL COLLAPSE

The rubble is estimated to have had ‘hundreds of tonnes of impact’ (Picture: PA)

A fire service spokesman said: ‘Residents are being asked to avoid the area, as there are expected to be a high number of emergency appliances involved in this multi-agency search and rescue operation.

‘Firefighters are working alongside other emergency services to check the area to ensure that no one needs rescuing.’

Lewes Castle was built in 1068 by William de Warenne, the Ist Earl of Surrey and is a popular tourist attraction.

Sussex Police said it was not known if anyone was trapped, adding: ‘There are no current reports of any injuries.’



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