Investigations have been launched after workman died  when he fell from the fire-damaged Eastbourne Pier.

The 44-year-old man from Cumbria fellfrom the structure on to the beach yesterday just after 4pm.

He is understood to have fallen through the boardwalk, damaged by fire three weeks ago.

Police cordoned off the area and the air ambulance landed on the beach to the east side of the pier. Paramedics treated him for a head injury. 

A Health and Safety Executive spokesman said they were aware of the incident and assisting police with their enquiries.

Paramedics attempted to revive the man at the scene.

Gary Seaman, who was visiting Eastbourne on a day trip from Maid- stone, described the police and para- medic activity beneath the pier as they helped the fallen man.

He said: “We were walking towards the pier and saw the air ambulance had landed. “The ground ambulance had also arrived and an orange tent was put up beneath the structure.

“The air ambulance flew away and the police cordoned off the scene. We saw a couple of official-looking guys in suits at the scene.

“We have just come down for a day and we just happened to see it unfold- ing. “It is very sad after all that has happened to the pier in recent weeks.”

A bystander, who did not want to be named, said: “I came along as the police and ambulance were down on the beach next to the pier. “I heard that a workman had fallen through the pier.

"I saw them trying to resuscitate him and then a helicopter arrived. It was there for an awfully long time.”

The 144-year-old, Grade II-listed pier was partially destroyed by a fire on July 30 which was battled by 80 firefighters together with RNLI crews.

Police are still investigating if the fire was started deliberately.