Four killed as storms lash British Isles

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The Independent Online
FOUR PEOPLE, including a small boy, were killed, one man is missing, feared dead, and thousands of homes have been left without electricity after winds of up to 110mph lashed Britain and Ireland yesterday.

As the emergency services cleared up, weathermen said more severe weather would affect western parts of Britain from tonight for 48 hours.

Among those who died was Mark Huxley, 5, whose mother's car hit fallen branches in North Wales and then careered across the road, colliding with another car. Gillian Huxley, of Whitchurch, Shropshire, was injured and was taken to Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

A 28-year-old man was swept out to sea by a 30ft wave as he went for a swim in Brighton. Police said the victim had been out for a stroll with his girlfriend and her son when he decided to dive into the sea off Palace Pier. His body was spotted by rescuers in a helicopter using an infra-red camera, but it was considered too risky to try a recovery.

At Ashburton, Devon, Paul Witt, 44, was swept away as he stumbled into the rising waters of the River Ashton at the bottom of his garden. His body was found a mile downstream at the village of Peartree.

In Ireland, 160,000 homes were left without power at one stage. Michael Joyce, 26, died when a falling tree crushed his car near the village of Maam Cross, in Connemara, Co Galway. His girlfriend, a passenger, escaped unhurt. In Northern Ireland a 24-year-old motorist was killed in Comber, Co Down, when his car crashed into a tree that had fallen in the road.

In Scotland, a 16-year-old girl was flown to the mainland by helicopter after suffering serious head injuries when hit on the head by a chimney stack blown off a roof in Rothesay on the isle of Bute.

Last night 34 workers were evacuated by helicopter from a floating North Sea oil structure after it was damaged by the weather. The non-essential workers were taken off Ramforth Banff, 90 miles from Aberdeen, as a precaution.