The leaning tower of Bremerhaven was 'a disaster waiting to happen'

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The leaning tower of Bremerhaven was 'a disaster waiting to happen'

An iconic lighthouse near the German city of Bremen has tilted sideways and could soon collapse entirely, officials have warned.

The head of the regional water police Uwe Old told Radio Bremen that nothing could be done to save the lighthouse.

“Unfortunately, I think the tower is going to be history in the coming days,” he was quoted as saying.

On Thursday, authorities initially banned ships from entering the Geeste River at the port in Bremerhaven because of the risk posed.

Harbour senator Claudia Schilling later told reporters that the area around the sunken pier would be reopened for commercial shipping.

The lighthouse is located at the end of a stone jetty that has been closed for many years and has long been in need of repair.

Sina Schuldt/dpa via AP
Water police have cordoned off the area around the pier. - Sina Schuldt/dpa via AP

Authorities are now debating whether to dismantle the lighthouse before it collapses at low tide and construct a new pier.

"If you wanted to be cynical, you could say this was a disaster waiting to happen," said Bremerhaven's mayor Melf Grantz.

"What has now happened is damaging to the city of Bremerhaven," he said in a statement. "It really hurts that this structure is now collapsing."