The beach that became a major tourist attraction after it was featured prominently in ITV detective drama Broadchurch has closed after 1,000 tonnes of rock fell from a cliff.
Members of the public have been warned to stay away after huge chunks of the rock were caught on live stream on a council webcam crashing to the beach below.
The chunks of cliff fell away at around 5pm on Tuesday from East Cliff on West Bay beach in Dorset – known nationwide as a key filming location for Broadchurch, that stars David Tennant and Oscar winner Olivia Colman.
The rock slide was spotted on a Dorset Council video live stream, which is continuously broadcast onto the council’s YouTube channel.
A multi-agency search and rescue operation was launched, and Chief Inspector Lance Cliff, of Dorset Police, said on Tuesday evening: “At this stage it is not believed anyone is trapped following the fall.”
The beach remained closed this morning.
Two British women contracted super gonorrhoea as a result of unprotected sex in Ibiza
Morrisons shoppers snapping up toilet roll and painkillers ‘over fears of a no-deal Brexit’
‘It sums up Brexit’: Emily Maitlis’ side-eye during Brexit interview wins Twitter
A spokesman for Dorset County Council said: “There’s been a large rockfall of approximately 1,000 tons at East Cliff West Bay.
“The police and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency have closed the coastal path between West Bay and Freshwater.
“The beach is also closed, and there are dangerous overhangs from top of cliff. The public are advised to stay away.”
A spokesperson for West Bay Coastguard added: “Officers quickly attended the scene to find a sizeable cliff fall involving an estimated 1000 tonnes of rock and debris.
“This was cutting off the beach between West Bay and Freshwater.
“After liaising with police, coastguard officers carried out a hasty search of the immediate area around the fall to check if any persons may have been involved.
“While there was no immediate evidence of anyone being caught in the fall, additional resources were requested to carry out further investigations.
“The ambulance service, the fire service including their technical rescue team, a search dog and the police helicopter were all despatched to the scene.
“With nothing untoward found and no immediate reports of any missing persons, all agencies were stood down.”