The mind shudders at the horrific consequences of the Langney Shopping Centre roof-fall which, had it happened 12 hours earlier or later could have seen a major pre-Christmas tragedy.
It was just after 4.30am when the fire service discoverd debris from the roof covering the shopping mall after being alerted by security alarms going off.
At any other time, with the popular out-of-town shopping centre brim full of shoppers, had the roof caved in, then the consequences are unthinkable
At this early stage, building inspectors are surveying the damaged roof of the shopping centre.
Initially, it was believed the stormy weather on Wednesday night had caused the damage.
Now experts are suggesting it was down to a structural defect which could close the shopping centre over the lucrative Christmas and New Year period.
It is disastrous news for the hard-pressed stores, especially some of the smaller businesses, who were hoping to cash in on the festive season.
And with the Langney Shopping Centre now 30 years old, there must be question marks placed over its future and how quickly it can return to business, since repairs to the roof structure will not come cheap.
Not good news all round.