Horses and their handlers had to be evacuated from a multi-storey car park next to Liverpool’s Echo Arena because of a large fire.

Crowds were gathering for the final evening of the four-day Liverpool International Horse Show when the alarm was raised.

The show has been cancelled, though no injuries have been reported.

Some horses had been on the first floor of the car park at King’s Dock.

Vehicles on at least two floors have been destroyed or damaged in the fire, which was tackled by 12 crews.

Mersey Fire and Rescue Service said the car park and some apartments nearby were cleared of people while crews brought the fire under control.

Black smoke billows across Liverpool's waterfront. Pic: Mike Quek/PA Wire
Black smoke billows across Liverpool’s waterfront. Pic: Mike Quek/PA Wire

A spokeswoman for the Echo Arena said: “We regret to announce that the Liverpool International Horse Show has been cancelled tonight due to a serious fire in the multi-storey car park on site.

“All people and horses are safe and secure.

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“We are working alongside the emergency services to ensure the fire is brought under control and to make the site safe as quickly as possible.”

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said in a tweet: “Arena Car Park fire have been told everyone safe and no animals hurt seems a land rover went on fire on the 3rd level, horses on 1st the horses have been evacuated to Arena. Will give more news about tonight ASAP.”