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James Bond stage will be rebuilt

Casino Royale

Story by Jack Foley

THE James Bond stage at Pinewood Studios that was destroyed by fire will be rebuilt, according to a statement.

Fire gutted the world-famous venue on Sunday, July 30 (2006) and it will need to be demolished before being reconstructed.

But the studio maintains that it does intend to rebuild the stage in its entirety, while pledging to be fully operational as a studio by the end of today (Monday, July 31).

However, the cause of the blaze has yet to be established and was still under investigation.

The 007 stage was housing sets built for forthcoming Bond movie Casino Royale but no filming was taking place at the time and there were no casualties.

A statement from Pinewood added that production had completed shooting and sets were in the process of being removed.

It maintained that the studio had “well established procedures” to deal with fires which had proved effective, predicting that the incident was unlikely to have any material impact on the financial performance of the company for the full year.

Smoke from the fire was visible from up to 10 miles away after it began some time after 11am. The ensuing damage caused the roof covering the stage to cave in and meant that firefighters had to have special equipment to reach it.

Eye-witnesses reported hearing two explosions that were later attributed to welding kits including acetylene cylinders.

Read more about the blaze