The roof of a whole block of flats housing around 200 people in Slough was ripped off by fierce winds yesterday evening, sending tons of debris crashing into the middle of a busy High Street, crushing cars and causing panic.
Despite shocking images and videos of mangled wreckage, no injuries were reported after the roof landed in the centre of the busy Berkshire town.
Shocked onlookers were filmed sifting through the fallen roof, with emergency services rushing to the scene to search for people trapped in the rubble.
One resident, who lives in the block of flats that the roof fell from, told MailOnline that the main road was ‘completely taped off’ and that he heard the roof groaning shortly before it fell. A taxi driver added that it was a ‘miracle nobody was killed’.
Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue said that there were no serious injuries and they hadn’t found anybody under the rubble.
Slough Council added: ‘We can now confirm the High Street in this area will remain closed to traffic and pedestrians tonight and into tomorrow. Businesses within the cordoned area will be closed until the cordon is lifted. This is for the safety of everyone. Thank you.’
Britain was ravaged by 48 hours of horrific storms, after Storm Brendan had previously caused carnage all over the country on Monday.
Gusts in the Slough area were in excess of 50mph on Tuesday evening, according to the Met Office.
The stormy weather conditions are set to calm down over the next 24 hours – before another spell of wind and rain hits the UK on Thursday.
The roof was ripped off a nearby apartment building by strong winds and landed in the middle of Slough High Street, crushing cars
This roof, on top of a section of new build flats and above several shops, is believed to be the one that was ripped off by heavy winds before ending up on Slough High Street
Construction workers in Slough high street after a roof was blown off a building onto the road amid strong winds yesterday evening
Footage posted on social media shows the large structure blocking part of the High Street in Slough after it was blown off a building, which is believed to be both residential and commercial
Police closed off part of Slough high street as emergency services fought to clear the debris, with the many businesses in the area also forced to close
Shocking social media footage from the scene showed the huge section of roofing in the middle of street where it appeared to have landed on a van
Stunned onlookers were seen sifting through the rubble yesterday evening, though it was later confirmed that no-one had been seriously injured
A van that was hit by the falling roof, fortunately no one appears to have been inside the vehicle at the time of the roof collapse
The wreckage landed in the middle of the high street with onlookers walking past to see if anyone had been hurt by the falling debris
A concerned passer-by looks under the wreckage to see if anybody was trapped by the falling roof on Slough High Street
The 48-hour period of wild weather began with Storm Brendan hammering Ireland on Monday, causing thousands of homes to lose power, before bringing winds in excess of 80mph to parts of Scotland and England.
Airlines were forced to divert flights scheduled to land at Gatwick Airport on Monday evening while ferries and railways faced disruption.
A second low-pressure front brought further strong gales to much of the country on Tuesday, causing the roof of the apartment block to crash into Slough High Street.
A yellow warning of wind covering much of England is due to expire at 5am on Wednesday, while a rain warning covering south-east England is scheduled to cease at 9am.
Meteorologist Alex Burkill, from the Met Office, said: ‘It will take a little while but the rain should clear by lunchtime.
‘Once it does clear away, otherwise tomorrow, most places are in for some decent sunny spells.’
There could be further thundery showers mainly to the north and west of the UK, with the chance of sleet and snow across the hills and mountains of Scotland and Northern Ireland, according to the forecaster.
Some 25 flood warnings and 165 flood alerts were issued by the Environment Agency on Tuesday, as coastal areas struggled with strong gusts, high tides and large waves.
Rail passengers faced delays and temporary speed limits due to the heavy winds and fallen trees, while drivers were advised to take extra care on the roads.
Although the wind is due to ease off on Wednesday, conditions will still be blustery, Mr Burkill said, and temperatures are due to dip slightly to 9 degrees.
But he warned that more unsettled weather was ahead on Thursday, particularly during the second half of the day, when places across the country could expect wet and windy weather.
Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue later said that there were no serious injuries and they hadn’t found anybody under the rubble, though searches were still continuing
Thames Valley Police said: ‘We do not believe that anyone has been seriously injured, and we are working with other emergency services to make the scene safe’
‘It doesn’t look as bad as what we’ve had through the past couple of days,’ he added.
‘At the moment it looks like we’ll stay warning free (on Thursday). It’s just a windy day rather than a hazardous one.’
A gust of 78mph was recorded on the Isle of Wight on Tuesday, while the village of Libanus in Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales, saw 42mm of rainfall in 24 hours, according to the Met Office.
In Slough, Haris Baig, 30, from nearby, said he was driving along the High Street when he saw a large section of roof crash down in front of him.
He said: ‘At first I thought it was scaffolding, but then I realised the whole roof had come down. There was a massive amount of noise.
‘I was about 15 metres away and slammed on my brakes. I got out to see if everyone was alright. That was my first reaction, but at the same time I was thinking is this even safe?’
Mr Baig said he did not see anyone injured, but heard that one person had broken their leg.
‘It was a disaster. It was a miracle no one was killed.’
Balconies on the top floor of the apartment block have been covered with yellow insulation, with much of it still being blown off the roof by strong winds.
Sebastian Rejnisz, 44, who lives in the affected building, said: ‘I was moving my car out the back at the time when I heard a boom. I just thought it was the bins.
‘I then went in and opened the front door [of the building] and saw the roof was on the street.
‘Everyone was just running around.’
Housing firm Paradigm Housing said the roof collapse in Slough had affected one of its properties, although it is unclear whether the block of flats is owned by the company.
In a statement on Twitter, the firm said: ‘We are aware of an incident affecting one of our properties in Slough.
‘We have staff on site and are working with the emergency services and supporting residents.
‘If you need to contact us please ring 0300 303 1010 where you will be connected to our out of hours provider.’
A spokesman for Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service said three fire engines were in attendance on Slough High Street after the roof came off ‘in the wind’.
Part of the roof was blown onto the tracks at Ravenscourt Park tube station in West London on Tuesday evening, with delays on the Piccadilly and District lines ‘due to an obstruction on the track’.
The powerful winds caused by the storm also blew down a ten storey scaffold tower from a block of flats in Orpington, Kent yesterday evening
The scaffolding has fallen across a road and a car park crushing a car, though nobody appeared to have been injured in the incident
The collapsed scaffolding is just one of several cases of strong winds ravaging parts of the UK on Tuesday, after Storm Brendan hit on Monday
The fire service said they were currently ‘not aware of anyone trapped’ under the roof, which has blown into the high street.
‘The roof has come off in the wind. The current situation is trying to make the scene safe,’ the spokesman said.
He added they were not ‘100% sure’ if anyone was still in the damaged building, which is believed to be both residential and commercial.
South Central Ambulance Service and Thames Valley Police are also in attendance, alongside a structural engineer from Slough Borough Council.
Thames Valley Police said: ‘Officers are currently at the scene of an incident in Slough. It is believed that part of a building in the High Street has collapsed as a result of the weather conditions.
‘We do not believe that anyone has been seriously injured, and we are working with other emergency services to make the scene safe.
‘The road is closed and people are advised to avoid the area. Thank you to everyone for their ongoing patience while we deal with the incident.’
Local MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi tweeted: ‘Major incident of fallen roofing on £Slough High Street.
A misty view of Canary Wharf from the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London yesterday, as stormy weather plagued the UK
Large waves at Newhaven Harbour as the second storm to hit Britain in 24 hours caused chaos throughout the country yesterday
Storm Brendan eased and was sitting just to the north of the UK on Tuesday, while another low pressure ravaged the country yesterday
‘Please stay away from the area. The @TVP-Slough, @SloughCouncil and specialist services are on site. Sincerely hope and pray that no one has been hurt and that there are no casualties.’
Weather warnings remain in force across the UK after Storm Brendan battered the country with winds of nearly 90mph on Monday.
Slough wasn’t the only place damaged by the winds, with the gales bringing down a ten storey scaffold tower from a block of flats in Orpington, Kent this evening. The scaffolding has fallen across a road and a car park crushing a car.
A bus carrying 50 passengers also crashed off the road and into a ditch after a collision with a car in gale force winds in Surrey.
Four bus passengers were injured in the incident which happened as gusts of wind reaching up to 70mph, swept across Surrey and Sussex.
Emergency services received several 999 calls to the incident which happened on the A3100 shortly before 5.45pm.
The driver of the car was trapped in his vehicle and was freed by firefighters before being taken to the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford, along with two of the bus passengers. None were believed to have been badly injured.
Part of the roof was blown onto the tracks at Ravenscourt Park tube station in West London, with delays on the Piccadilly and District lines ‘due to an obstruction on the track’.
Meanwhile in Sheerness, Kent, a lorry driver suffered a severe head injury when a heavy gust of wind caught the open door of his container truck which was parked in a layby and it slammed into the back of his head.
He was spotted lying in the road by a passing car driver who alerted emergency services. The trucker was rushed by ambulance to the Medway Maritime Hospital for treatment to serious head wounds.
Women walk through heavy rain in Yeadon, West Yorkshire, yesterday as the country was hit by downpours – with more to come
Snow settled on parts of northern Scotland yesterday (left) while there was heavy rain for the morning rush hour yesterday morning (right)
This graphic shows how strong winds are sweeping into southern England yesterday (left) where there are warnings (right)
A woman holds an umbrella, blown inside-out by the wind, as she walks across Waterloo Bridge in London yesterday
Flood barriers were put up on Newcastle Quayside yesterday amid fears that a tidal surge could flood the streets
Lorries are seen queuing on the A20 in Kent as ferry services at the port of Dover are effected by stormy weather yesterday afternoon
The rain led to last night’s FA Cup third-round replay between Tranmere Rovers and Watford being postponed after the Prenton Park pitch fell victim to heavy downpours for three days in a row on the Wirral (pictured on Sunday) which left it unplayable
Kids help to shovel snow from cars in the Highlands village of Tomatin yesterday as Storm Brendan continues to cause issues
Traffic on the A9 near Inverness in the Scottish Highlands yesterday as Storm Brendan continues to cause travel problems
A ferry is buffeted by waves as it arrives during stormy weather at the Port of Dover in Kent yesterday
A car driver had a lucky escape in Godalming, Surrey, soon after 7.30pm when a large tree creaked and crashed down onto the windscreen of his car. Paramedics and police rushed to the scene but incredibly, the driver had escaped serious injury and was not hurt by the shattered glass.
Another driver escaped being badly hurt when he could not avoid hitting a tree which had fallen across the A259 road at Climping, near Littlehampton, west Sussex. The incident happened near the village’s Oyster Catcher public house.
Commuters were warned they face a miserable journey home yesterday as strong winds caused speed restrictions on some lines while others were affected by landslides.
Passengers travelling between Southampton, Bournemouth and Weymouth were warned over disruption, while there were also delays between Penzance and Exeter, and between London and Cambridge, Ely and Kings Lynn.
The rain led to Tuesday’s FA Cup third-round replay between Tranmere Rovers and Watford being postponed after the Prenton Park pitch fell victim to heavy downpours for three days in a row on the Wirral which left it unplayable.
It comes after schools were closed and roads blocked by fallen trees in Scotland, while ferry services were hit and train services were halted after objects were blown into overhead power lines by the first named storm of 2020.
A gust of 121mph at Cairngorm National Park in the Highlands was recorded, while a wind speed of 95mph hit South Uist in the Outer Hebrides and 62mph was observed at Capel Curig in Gwynedd, North West Wales.
The only previous named storm of the current 2019/20 season, Atiyah, swept in at the start of last month – and, during that period, winds gusted to a maximum of 83mph at Needles on the Isle of Wight.
Nicola Maxey, of the Meteorological Office, said: ‘In the wake of Storm Brendan, we have another low-pressure system arriving from the South West.
‘We are looking at wind speeds of 40-50mph inland and 60mph in coastal areas. On very exposed coasts and hills, winds could reach 70mph.’
The worst conditions from Storm Brendan were in Ireland and north-west Scotland, where schools were closed and ferries disrupted.