A fire-hit hotel in the process of being demolished has collapsed onto a Seaham street prompting an evacuation of nearby shops and cafes.
The Harbour View Hotel in North Terrace was the subject of a huge fire in September last year and work was under way to demolish the building.
However, on Saturday morning, onlookers watched in horror as the entire front of the building collapsed onto the pavement.
A witness at the scene told the Echo people were sitting either side having coffees and refreshments when rubble started raining onto the footpath on the sea front.
"They are pulling it down but the front has just collapsed onto the path," he said.
Echo photographer Kevin Brady, who took some of the images above, said he had spoken to a fireman on the scene, who told him there were not believed to be any injuries.
He said: "I don't think they were working on it today. The team that normally do the work are beleived to be off for the bank holiday weekend.
"They have closed shops on either side and the two cafes look closed too.
"I have just spoken to the fireman on scene and nobody is thought to be underneath."