Third person dies and plane skids off runway as Storm Babet batters UK

Severe flooding has been caused and a plane at Leeds Bradford Airport came off the runway.

PA Reporters
Friday 20 October 2023 20:52 BST

Storm Babet: Plane skids off runway at Leeds Bradford Airport amid extreme weather

A third person has died as Storm Babet swept across the country causing widespread flooding and high winds which also forced a passenger plane to skid off a runway.

A man in his 60s died after getting caught in fast-flowing flood water in the town of Cleobury Mortimer in Shropshire on Friday, West Mercia Police said, after two people died in Scotland.

And passengers had to be evacuated from a plane after it came off the runway at Leeds Bradford Airport as it attempted to land in windy conditions.

There were no reports of any injuries, operator Tui said.

An airport spokesperson said: “We can confirm Tui flight TOM3551 arriving from Corfu at LBA this afternoon has moved off the runway whilst landing.

“We are working with the airline, relevant operations teams and emergency authorities to address this situation and remove passengers from the aircraft safely.”

The death in Shropshire is the third so far during the second named storm of the season.

West Mercia Police said: “Members of the public reported that the man had gone under the water shortly before 10.40am this morning.

“Officers from West Mercia Police and Shropshire Fire and Rescue quickly attended but sadly he was found deceased at around 12.35pm.

“Whilst formal identification hasn’t yet taken place the family of a local man in his 60s have been informed and are being supported by officers.”

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “When ambulance crews arrived on scene they quickly began working with fire and police colleagues to try and find the man, who was reported to have gone under the water by a member of the public.

“Following a thorough search and rescue operation, the man was rescued from the water. However, sadly it quickly became apparent that nothing could be done to save him and he was confirmed dead at the scene.”

Police Scotland previously said a falling tree hit a van near Forfar in Angus on Thursday evening, killing the 56-year-old driver.

A 57-year-old woman also died on Thursday after being swept into a river in the region.

Across England, there were over 283 flood warnings and 243 alerts on Friday evening, while 55,000 people were left without power as a result of the storm.

By Friday evening, around 45,000 of those were reconnected to the grid but 10,000 were still without power, the Energy Networks Association said.

Flooding caused 70-minute delays on the A1 near Grantham, National Highways said, while further south, Suffolk declared a major incident on Friday as Storm Badet caused “major flooding” across the county.

The rural village of Debenham was cut off by flooding, residents said, while tractors were being used to rescue people caught in the flood water.

Around 50 people were sheltering in the local leisure centre there and sleeping on crash matts, staff said.

In an update on its website, Suffolk County Council urged residents not to travel unless “absolutely necessary”.

Jon Lacey, chief fire officer for the county, said: “The continuous heavy rainfall across Suffolk is causing severe flooding in several locations but is also making driving conditions more dangerous for everyone.”

Rotherham’s Championship game with Ipswich on Friday was also postponed due to the storm.

On Friday, an amber weather warning for rain is in place for some parts of northern England including Yorkshire and Manchester, as well as some of the Midlands, including Nottingham.

A yellow weather warning for much of the east coast of the UK was also put in place for wind and rain.

A further yellow weather warning is in place across much of northern England and the Midlands for wind and rain.

A rare red weather warning is in place for parts of eastern Scotland all day on Saturday.

The “unprecedented” weather event has already forced some residents in eastern Scotland to evacuate their homes, cut off rural communities, and caused roads and bridges to collapse, while First Minister Humza Yousaf warned on Friday “we have not seen the last of this”.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) confirmed it had attended almost 70 weather-related incidents across Scotland including rescues from homes and flood waters.

The SFRS said it had received around 750 emergency calls across Scotland and attended 300 incidents since Thursday. Meanwhile 30,000 customers lost power but were mostly reconnected by 5pm, with 3,800 properties still without power on Friday evening.

David Lockhart, assistant chief officer at the SFRS, said: “We are facing unprecedented flooding in many areas, and we must stress to the public that flood waters should always be avoided.”

More than 75 people were in rescue centres in Angus, east Scotland, while Angus Council said people in more than 60 homes in Brechin, who refused previous evacuation attempts, required rescue.

Jacqui Semple, head of risk, resilience and safety for Angus Council, said: “People are devastated. This is awful.

“It would be awful. Your house flooded, your belongings, the impact emotionally and physically and everything that goes with that.

“They’ve got all of those people who have been affected arriving at our rest centres in such a state – wet, cold, and just so unbelievably upset.”

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