Hurricane Gonzalo: Woman crushed to death by tree blown down by high winds in London

A woman was crushed by a tree that blew down in central London

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The Independent Online

A woman has died after being crushed by a tree in high winds caused by the remains of Hurricane Gonzalo.

The tree and part of a wall fell on the pedestrian as she walked down Kensington Road, near Hyde Park Barracks, at 11.40am.

A spokesperson for the London Ambulance Service said paramedics tried to resuscitate her but she died at the scene.

Elsewhere, three people, including one woman in a wheelchair, were injured by a fallen tree at Southwick Recreation Ground in West Sussex just before 10am.

The weather has also caused widespread travel disruption, particularly at Heathrow where more than 100 flights in and out of the airport have been cancelled as the weather system moves across Britain, bringing high winds and heavy rain.

With the “flow rate” of arrivals and departures likely to be reduced, airlines have been asked to make pre-emptive cancellations between 10am and 9pm.

British Airways has made the majority of weather-related cancellations - all of them domestic and European flights. The worst-affected destinations, with more than one cancellation, are Barcelona, Belfast, Edinburgh, Geneva, Madrid, Manchester and Newcastle.

All Lufthansa flights to and from Frankfurt and Munich have been cancelled, but this is nothing to do with the weather. Pilots at the German airline are on day two of a strike. The walkout yesterday disrupted 200,000 travellers yesterday, and the repercussions are continuing this morning. Flights from Manchester to the two key German hubs have also been cancelled.

Other airlines have cancelled many fewer flights. Aer Lingus has cancelled a departure to Dublin, Virgin Atlantic to Edinburgh, KLM to Amsterdam and SAS Scandinavian Airlines to Oslo. The only transatlantic cancellation so far is Air Canada’s departure to St John’s in Newfoundland.

Around 10,000 travellers are affected so far, with thousands more potentially at risk. Conveniently, Gonzalo has arrived on a Tuesday, the quietest day of the week for air travel, so plenty of space is available on other flights.

Passengers should already have been contacted by the airlines and been offered alternatives. The airline must provide meals and, if necessary, accommodation, but not financial compensation is due because it is not the airline’s fault.

Elsewhere, the weather caused delays of up to 40 minutes to services between London and Luton, while another broken-down train - this time in Devon - meant delays of up to 60 minutes to journeys between Taunton and Exeter St David.

A Network Rail spokesman said: "Strong winds, torrential rain and large quantities of fallen leaves are making conditions difficult on the railway today.

A number of ferry crossings between Holyhead, North Wales, and Dublin were also cancelled due to the adverse weather, said Irish Ferries.

North West Motorway Police said they had received many reports of standing water which led to hazardous driving conditions in the region.