A GIANT chunk of the cliff has collapsed at West Bay, causing a 1,000-tonne rockfall.

Emergency services were called to East Beach at about 5.30pm yesterday evening and discovered a huge piece of the cliff - made famous in ITV's Broadchurch crime drama - had crashed onto the shore.

West Bay Coastguard Rescue Team and Dorset Police were first at the scene and quickly searched the area - almost the same spot as a major rockfall in 2018 and believed to be the remainder of that fall.

Nobody was found, but officers said they could not be certain people were not trapped under the cliff and called in support teams from Bridport, Charmouth and Dorchester along with technical rescue teams from Weymouth.

Thermal imaging, the police helicopter and a search dog were also called in.

After satisfying themselves that no one was unaccounted for, the emergency services were stood down at about 8pm.

The coastguard has now closed off a section of the coast path and signs are in place to prevent the public from accessing the area whilst it is made safe. Engineers are due to check the site this morning before the council decides if it is safe to reopen.

Dorset Council said: "There's been a large rockfall of approximately 1,000 tonnes at East Cliff, West Bay. Police and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency have closed the coastal path between West Bay and Freshwater."

It advised the public to keep away.

"The beach is also closed and there are dangerous overhangs from top of cliff. Public advised to stay away."