Six dead as gales batter UKgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Current News - Homefront Preparations : One Thread
[People had better sense than to be out in this kind of weather when I lived there.]
Sunday, 27 October, 2002, 16:51 GMT
Three adults and three children have been killed and several others seriously injured as gales sweep across England and Wales.
Winds of up to 90mph are expected to continue wreaking havoc on roads and railways across much of southern and central Britain through Sunday.
All of the victims died as a result of falling trees and emergency services are warning people not to venture out unless absolutely necessary.
Trees and high winds have also damaged power lines and left 12,000 homes without electricity.
In Shropshire a falling tree killed a 14-year-old girl who was a passenger in a car on the A41, as well as injuring two other occupants. Another falling tree in nearby Much Wenlock left a man with head injuries.
In Wales a man was killed on the A40 at Bwlch, just east of Brecon, when a large branch fell on his car at the height of the storms.
Ambulance crews found the man trapped and seriously injured, but he was declared dead at the scene before he could be freed.
A boy died in Costessey on the outskirts of Norwich, Norfolk, after a falling tree was blown onto him, a spokesman for the East Anglian ambulance service said.
Also in Norfolk, a man in his 50s was killed by a falling tree in his garden in Downham Market.
In Felixstowe, Suffolk, a three-year-old boy died after suffering head injuries when a tree fell on his pushchair.
The toddler had been out with his mother in woodland during the stormy weather. He was pronounced dead after being taken to hospital.
In Didsbury, Greater Manchester, a man was seriously injured after an oak tree fell on him.
Firefighters cut him out from under the 80-foot tree and he was taken to hospital with serious leg injuries.
A 22-year-old woman died in Oxford city centre after an oak tree fell on her car, crushing the roof.
Her sisters, aged nine and 13 escaped with minor injuries.
Poor conditions hampered a rescue operation to help an injured fisherman stuck on a boat 170 miles off the Scilly Isles.
A helicopter crew from RAF Chivenor in Devon winched the unconscious man to safety from a Spanish fishing vessel about 0700 GMT after a seven-hour rescue effort.
A previous attempt by another helicopter had failed due to the high winds.
The fisherman - who had suffered internal bleeding - has now regained consciousness.
The weather also contributed to a collision between a ferry and a Royal Navy frigate in Portsmouth, which left the warship "significantly" damaged on its upper decks.
An investigation is under way after the incident which happened as the P&O ferry was attempting to dock in gales at 0530 GMT on Sunday.
There were no injuries on the type 23 frigate HMS St Albans - one of the newest in the Navy - or on the ferry.
The weather-induced chaos also caused huge delays on the railways, with particularly severe disruption on both east and west coast main line.
All Virgin Cross Country and West Coast services have been suspended due to the bad weather.
Trains on the move when the decision was taken were being stopped at the nearest station. The situation was to be reviewed early on Sunday afternoon.
On the east coast trains between Kings Cross and Doncaster were suspended because of high winds, debris on the lines and damage to the infrastructure, with services also suspended between Leeds and Doncaster.
GNER has so far been unable to organise alternative transport and is advising passengers not to travel.
Flights were also affected with British Airways cancelling 32 services out of London's Heathrow airport and seven out of Gatwick. Passengers are advised to consult BA's website or phone 0845 77 999 77.
The Sunday race meeting at Aintree in Liverpool was cancelled, while theme parks such as Alton Towers in Staffordshire and Thorpe Park in Surrey were closed for safety reasons.
On roads in the affected areas motorists have been advised to avoid travelling if possible.
Drivers of high-sided vans and lorries have been warned of the danger of their vehicles toppling over.
The M4 Swansea Bridge and the M48 Severn Bridge have been closed.
Most ferries to Ireland, Holland and France have been cancelled.
-- Anonymous, October 27, 2002