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Major fire at Southend school 'not deliberate'

Firefighters tackle the blaze yesterday. Credit: Essex Fire and Rescue Service

It's been confirmed a major fire at a school in Southend yesterday wasn't started deliberately.

12 crews were sent to the Cecil Jones Academy and firefighters had to use water from a nearby swimming pool to help bring it under control.

Firefighters have been dampening down overnight in a bid to save as much of the building as possible.

Crews worked in extremely arduous conditions at this incident, and did an excellent job to contain the fire to the one building.

We were also made aware that the building contained a science lab which had some hazardous materials.

Although the room was far away from the fire, crews entered the building and removed these materials for the safety of the incident.

The fire investigation has been carried out, and we can confirm that there wasn't any malicious or suspicious circumstances.

– Incident Commander Neil Fenwick

The academy's CEO Bev Williams says the school will be open tomorrow for GCSE results day.

Firefighters tackle blaze at a school in Essex

Fire crews were tackling a fire on the roof of a building that's part of the Cecil Jones Academy Credit: Essex Fire and Rescue

Essex fire and rescue have been tackling a fire at a school in Southend this evening.

Crews were called at 4.30pm to the Cecil Jones Academy on Eastern Avenue. The roof of the two storey building was alight. 12 fire engines attended the scene.

The fire is now out and no one is believed to have been injured.

12 fire engines attended the scene Credit: Essex Fire and Rescue


Burglar jailed after getting locked inside the shop she was trying to rob

Justine Roberts Credit: Essex Police

A woman from Essex who ended up locked inside the shop she was trying to rob has been jailed for more than two years.

Justine Roberts threatened a cashier at the East Street Convenience Store in Southend with a 12-inch kitchen knife. She helped herself to alcohol, cigarettes and cash before realising the victim had fled and shut her inside.

Police arrived to find the 41-year-old inside, drinking vodka.

She admitted robbery and was sentenced to two years and four months in jail.

Lagoon opens on Southend seafront

Video report by ITV Anglia's Serena Sandhu

A lagoon has official opened on the Southend seafront.

The Three Shells lagoon cost nearly two million pounds but the council says the investment is vital to keep tourism alive.

"This has been a really good partnership between the council, local business and the Coastal Communities Fund which is a government scheme providing communities with an economic strength for their future. This is going to provide new jobs because it keeps people here and is another reason for people to come and visit this part of the world."

– Scott Dolling, Southend Borough Council

Second man charged after corrosive fluid attack

A second man has been charged in connection with an incident in which a corrosive fluid was thrown at a man inside a shop at Westcliff.

A 19-year-old man from Southend suffered chemical burns to his left arm, ear and hand during an altercation at a convenience store in North Road on Thursday June 30.

The victim was taken to Southend General Hospital before receiving further treatment at a specialist burns unit at Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford. He is expected to have further long-term medical treatment.

Archie Harding, who's 19 and from Kursaal Way, Southend was charged with throwing a corrosive fluid with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and a further charge of affray.

Leban Elmi, who's 22 was charged with possession of an offensive weapon in a public place and affray in connection with the same incident. He's due to appear at Basildon Crown Court on August 4.


Southend amusement park named in UK's top 10

Adventure Island in Southend-on-Sea is named fourth best amusement park Credit: ITV News Anglia

Adventure Island in Southend-on-Sea has been named as one of the UK's best amusement parks.

The Essex attraction came fourth in the list and 17th in Europe in the 2016 Travellers’ Choice awards.

Ranking ahead of them were Paultons Park in Hampshire, Blackpool Pleasure beach and Alton Towers.

Take a look at who else made the Top 10:

  • 1- Paultons Park, Home of Peppa Pig World, Romsey
  • 2- Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Blackpool
  • 3- Alton Towers, Farley
  • 4- Adventure Island, Southend-on-Sea
  • 5- Brighton Pier, Brighton
  • 6- Drayton Manor, Tamworth
  • 7- The Milky Way Adventure Park, Clovelly
  • 8- GreenWood Forest Park, Y Felinheli
  • 9- Legoland Windsor, Windsor
  • 10- West Midland Safari and Leisure Park, Bewdley

Eleven people admit their part in pre-match brawl

Colchester United's Community Stadium. Credit: PA wire

Eleven people have admitted their part in a brawl before a football match in Colchester on Boxing Day last year.

Violence broke out at Abbey Gate just before Colchester's match against Southend at the Community Stadium.

Six under 18s and five adults have now pleaded guilty to public order offences. Four adults were banned from matches for between three and four years.

The remaining seven defendants will be sentenced at a later date.

Three other people denied the charges and will face a trial.

Southend's Dan Bentley signs for Brentford

Brentford confirm signing of 22-year-old goalkeeper Dan Bentley from Southend United Credit: PA

Brentford have signed 22-year-old goalkeeper Dan Bentley on a four year deal from Southend United.

22-year-old Bentley came through the Southend academy and made his debut in October 2011.

Bentley had been offered a new deal by Southend but has opted to join Brentford instead.

With Bentley being under 24 years of age, Southend United will be entitled to compensation for the keeper.

Southend Airport has the country's happiest travellers

Southend Airport. Credit: Richard MacGregor/PA Archive

Southend Airport has been named one of the best in Britain when it comes to having happy passengers.

In a survey taken by travellers while they were in the terminal, 85% said they were satisfied with their experiene.

More than quarter of a million people gave their feedback over six months' time.

It is the third year in a row that Southend Airport has come out on top of the Which? survey.

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