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Strong winds: Scaffolding collapses and Dartford bridge closed

Strong winds: Scaffolding collapses and Dartford bridge closed

  • 10 March 2019
Image caption Several cars were damaged when winds ripped scaffolding into a road in west London

Cars were crushed by scaffolding and a supermarket roof was ripped off as strong winds battered the country.

A plank of wood smashed through a taxi window, which witnesses said narrowly missed a passenger in the back seat, in west London.

The wind caused travel disruption, including delays at the Dartford Crossing as the QEII bridge was closed.

The Met Office said 70mph gusts were recorded on the Isle of Portland, off Weymouth.

Cross-Channel ferries to Kent and the Isle of Wight were also delayed, but services are now back to normal.

The QEII bridge has since reopened but has a 30mph speed limit, meaning delays are expected to continue.

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Media captionA tree fell on cars in Brighton and a man filmed part of a supermarket roof being blown off

A weather warning was in place for wind across southern England and Wales earlier, as gusts of up to 65mph swept across the country.

The Met Office said a further wind warning was in place for much of England from about midnight until 15:00 GMT on Wednesday.

  • Property damaged and left without power in Wales
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London Fire Brigade (LFB) said no-one was hurt when the scaffolding collapsed in Holland Road, near Kensington, at about 09:30 GMT.

Gail Meredith said she was "struggling" to walk home when she saw it crash into the road.

"I saw this scaffolding very slowly leave the top of the building and fall into the road, all in one piece," she added.

Image caption Witnesses said a plank of wood narrowly missed a passenger in a taxi

Highways England said the A249 bridge at the Sheppey crossing was closed in both directions, but it fully reopened after winds subsided.

Strong winds also blew part of the roof off a Tesco Extra store at Westwood Cross in Broadstairs, Kent.

In Guildford, firefighters have been dealing with a dangerous structure due to wind conditions.

Fire crews were also called out to a shed that had blown into a tree in Dorchester, Dorset.

Image copyright Alastair Moores
Image caption Part of a roof has blown off at the Tesco Extra in Broadstairs

Roads further north were hit by snow earlier, with the Woodhead Pass in the Pennines closed because of a crash.

The Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team were called by Cumbria Police to help 33 people who were caught up in multiple crashes during a heavy snow shower on Kirkstone Pass.

Drivers on the M1 were also warned after snowfall made the fast lane unsafe before gritters were called in.

A further Met Office warning for snow and ice is in place for the Midlands and northern England from 21:00 until 10:00 on Monday.

Image copyright Dorchester Fire Station
Image caption A shed ended up in a tree in Dorchester

In Hackney, north-east London, a brick wall on the roof of a building collapsed and fell on to the street below.

LFB said no-one was hurt at the scene in Stoke Newington High Street, but the clean-up operation took almost two hours.

Sections of the wrapping on Grenfell Tower also came loose and a team was sent to the site to assess the damage.

Image copyright Joanne Maunton
Image caption Part of a building collapsed in Stoke Newington High Street

Fallen electricity cables have also led to the closure of the A25 in Nutfield, Surrey, and UK Power Networks said it was dealing with outages across the region.

Police in Surrey urged people to report fallen trees to the council and tweeted: "Be careful out there and expect the unexpected."

Rail firm Southeastern tweeted that it was dealing with fallen trees at Deal, Harrietsham, Snodland, Wye and Broadstairs and staff were working to repair a train at Stonegate in Sussex.

Kent County Council urged motorists to take care in "difficult conditions" and Essex Police said they had experienced "extremely high call demand" and warned motorists to travel only where "absolutely necessary".

Image caption Trees fell on cars in central Brighton