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21/05/07
Cutty Sark Fire Suspicious, Say Police
- Fears for future of famous Greenwich sailing ship

Cutty Sark Fire Suspicious, Say Police. Picture credit: Cutty Sark TrustPOLICE are treating as suspicious the fire that this morning destroyed up to half of the Cutty Sark.

"There is indication that there were people in the area at the time when the fire initially started," said Inspector Bruce Middlemiss, of the Metropolitan Police. The Met is now studying CCTV footage.

The famous clipper, which transported tea from China to London in the late 19th century, caught fire at around 4.30am and, by the time fire fighters had controlled the blaze, huge damage had been done.

Luckily, the Cutty Sark is currently undergoing a major refurbishment, so half of its structure, including the main mast, wasn't on its Greenwich riverside site at the time of the fire. Nevertheless, early estimates suggest 80 per cent of what remained saw severe damage.

Among questions needing urgent investigation are the state of the ship's iron frame. If that holds good, prospects for repair are strong.



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