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Mystery surrounds car driven over cliff at Beachy Head
Police and firefighters this morning worked to pull an Astra from rocks at the bottom of Beachy Head.
The car went over yesterday at 2pm. Police know who it was registered to and are seeking to trace relatives of the people on the insurance.
A Sussex Police spokesman said: “Police were called at 2.02pm on Wednesday to a report of a car seen over Beachy Head.
“The vehicle was quickly located by the police and an extensive operation to recover it was launched together with the Coastguard and the fire service.
“Due to its position and the incoming tide this was unable to take place last night and work is on-going this morning.
It is believed that one male body is inside the car. Initial indications are that the death is not suspicious and enquiries are continuing in relation to identification.”
A huge air and sea operation was launched after the car plunged off the cliffs close to the Bell Tout lighthouse, near Beachy Head, Eastbourne, shortly after 2pm.
A source told The Argus that emergency services initially feared there was one person in the silver car and possibly a second who had been thrown clear.
But a search of the area surrounding the car – which was overturned and crushed – is understood to have revealed nothing.
East Sussex Fire and Rescue’s marine crew were able to reach, but unable to free, the car which was jammed in by rocks.
They were about to use a crowbar to break into the vehicle but the tide was coming in quickly at 5.30pm yesterday.
Police said last night it was likely the search for any occupants of the vehicle would have to be abandoned until it was safer – probably today.
A man who lives nearby said: “I saw tyre marks going up to the edge of the cliff.
“There are bumps which are meant to prevent vehicles from going over but it looks as though the car was driven over them.
“It’s very rare to get a car going over the cliff.”
A Sussex Police spokeswoman said: “Police were called to a report of a car seen over Beachy Head.
“Officers and coastguard have been informed.
“The vehicle has been located but the coastguard and fire service have been unable to get to it because of its position and the incoming tide. At this time we are unable to confirm how many occupants were in the vehicle.”
Both East Sussex Fire and Rescue and Dover Coastguard confirmed they attended the incident.
Did you see the incident? Email reporter Anna Roberts.
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