North East Wales

St Asaph flood death: Firefighters had to swim to homes

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Media captionPolice footage of the flooding in St Asaph was shown to the inquest

Firefighters had to swim through flood waters to try to rescue people trapped inside their homes, an inquest heard.

Margaret Hughes, 91, was found dead in her bungalow during floods at St Asaph, Denbighshire, in November 2012.

Part-time firefighter Richard Evans described trying to reach a pregnant woman stranded on the first floor of her home before being alerted to Mrs Hughes' situation.

He said he and colleagues "ended up having to swim" about 100 metres.

After calling for a RNLI boat to rescue the pregnant woman on Mill Street, Mr Evans said he and colleagues learned Mrs Hughes was living nearby when a man shouted to them, and asked: "Did the old lady get out alright?"

Image copyright North Wales Police
Image caption Margaret Hughes was found dead inside her home

Mr Evans described how the water was waist high when they entered Mrs Hughes' home.

He searched the first room on the left while his colleague went to the right.

He then heard his colleague call: "There's a fatality."

Mr Evans said he went into the room and saw Margaret Hughes' body in the water.

Last week, the hearing was told that she had been invited to leave with neighbours but decided to stay after she "weighed up the pros and cons".

The hearing is expected to conclude on Tuesday.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The River Elwy burst its banks in November 2012 sending waist-deep water into people's homes

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