Stoke & Staffordshire

Stoke-on-Trent school roof panel crashes into homes

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Media captionThe roof panel was blown off Ormiston Academy school and hit homes on Lowhurst Drive

A roof panel has been blown off a school by high winds in Stoke-on-Trent causing damage to nearby houses.

The fire service said it was "a miracle" that no-one was hurt after part of a roof blew off Ormiston Academy school in Chell.

It said the steel-framed panel was seen "cart wheeling" down Lowhurst Drive after being dislodged on Wednesday.

Western Power Distribution (WPD) said it was working to restore supply to 1,300 homes across Staffordshire.

Betty Rigby, who lives on Lowhurst Drive, said: "We heard a loud bang. It was frightening - we thought it was a bomb or a gas explosion.

"I went into the back garden and all I could see was something hanging over the roof, it was massive."

'New Year's Eve demand'

The fire service said the 5m (16ft) x 25m (82ft) panel had made a large hole in an elderly person's bungalow.

Image copyright Jon Beech
Image caption Firefighters said the panel had made a hole in the roof of an elderly person's bungalow

It said a number of houses were evacuated while firefighters cut up and removed the roof panel.

Neil Cheshire from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "Considering there were tenants in the properties at the time, it's a miracle that nobody was injured even in the slightest."

The Ormiston Academy said it had opened on Thursday as normal.

Staffordshire Police said it had received the same amount of demand as it would normally have on a New Year's Eve.

It said it had dealt with a number of blocked roads due to fallen trees and damage to property in the high winds.

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