North East Wales

Snowbound family near Wrexham burn old furniture

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Media captionRAF footage of the rescue helicopter reaching the farm

A family with a baby who were trapped in a hillside farm during the last few days of snow were forced to burn old furniture to keep warm.

They were stranded without power at a farm at Bryneglwys near Wrexham.

The four were airlifted to safety on Sunday by a helicopter from RAF Valley on Anglesey and flown to hospital.

Ben Massam said they "had just got on with it" at first by burning furniture, but eventually decided they needed to get his 16-month-old son out.

He said they were cut off for three or four days.

"We had no power, no electric for 24 hours. My brother-in-law lives down in Connah's Quay so he wasn't too far away and he managed to get to us on foot with his friend," said Mr Massam.

"It got to the point where I just thought... we needed to try to get him [the baby] out to reasonable safety."

They were flown to hospital at Wrexham but did not need treatment, he said.

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Media caption"It wasn't scary - we just got on with it," says Ben Massam

Mr Massam added: "We just needed to get them to safety and a bit more civilisation.

"They're not back yet, we're still waiting for the council to try and decide if they're going to dig me out, or if I'm staying here riding it out."

Mr Massam said the furniture which was burned had not been used recently, and had been put aside before the decision to set it alight.

He said he could still see about 10ft (3m) of snow outside the house.

'Arctic conditions'

"You can walk over the washing line, there's that much snow. You can't see any of the cars. The cars are all buried and I mean literally buried - they're gone."

North east Wales was badly hit by snow over the weekend and up to 6,000 homes, many between Llangollen and Corwen in Denbighshire, were left without electricity as falling trees brought down power lines.

Alistair Reed, team leader for Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue, told told BBC Radio Wales it had been "like Arctic conditions in that part of Wales".

Image caption Two holidaymakers were rescued on Saturday after 18 hours stranded in a car

On Sunday night a rescue helicopter from RAF Valley on Anglesey managed to reach them and transferred them to hospital.

Aberglaslyn mountain rescue team also reached the family.

All the five mountain rescue teams in north Wales have combined to help police and ambulance services during the snow emergency over the weekend.

On Friday, Aberdyfi Mountain Rescue Team rescued a pair of motorists who had been trapped in their snowbound car near Bala in Gwynedd for 18 hours.

Mountain rescuer Mr Reed said the couple who were on their way from Birmingham to Portmeirion, Gwynedd, for a holiday and were well equipped to spend the night in the car.

"Their holiday in Portmeirion became somewhat different," he added.

Rescuers have battled through snow drifts in 4x4 Land Rovers to get stranded people from their cars and to take patients living in outlying areas to hospital for chemotherapy, dialysis and other treatment.

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