Hundreds homeless after tornado hits suburbs

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Hundreds of people were left homeless today after a tornado ripped through residential streets in north London.

Dave Bonner, of London Fire Brigade, said about 100 homes had been damaged in "freak weather", injuring six people in Kensal Rise.

Chamberlayne Road, one of the worst-affected areas, was cordoned off for safety checks after roofs were ripped off houses, trees were uprooted, walls collapsed and debris rained on parked cars.

One man was taken to hospital with a head injury and five people were treated at the scene for minor injuries and shock.

Eye witnesses told how the sky went dark and spoke of a terrifying column of debris sweeping through the area.

They said the noise was like a jet airliner.

Video footage from a helicopter showed part of the side of a house had collapsed, partially covering a car parked outside.

The footage on Sky News also pictured several houses which had lost roof tiles, including one where almost the entire roof had been peeled away.

Brent Council set up a respite centre for people made homeless in a local church.

Mr Bonner said: "At approximately 11 o'clock this morning the fire brigade received a number of calls from an area of Kensal Rise covering approximately 10 roads and an area of about a quarter of a square mile.

"Crews were faced by a number of properties that had been damaged by freak weather conditions.

"Fire crews have searched over 100 properties and found several people had been injured and so far had been treated unseen by the London Ambulance Service.

"One person has so far been removed to hospital to be treated for minor injuries.

"Fire crews, police together with the local authority are now working to cater for the immediate needs of the local community."