Tornado damages northwest London
By ROBERT BARR
The Associated Press
LONDON ó A tornado Thursday ripped off a section of a wall of a northwest London house, damaged several nearby homes and injured at least six people, authorities said.
A man was taken to a hospital with a head injury, and five other adults were treated at the scene for minor injuries and shock, London Ambulance Service said.
"It came from nowhere, the sky turned dark, hail started falling and then within 10 minutes it was gone," said resident Perrin Sledge.
London Fire Brigade reported that about 100 properties were affected in a quarter-square-mile area.
The freak storm hit just after 11 a.m. on a day of unsettled weather, as high winds, bursts of rain and occasional hail and thunder swept across southern England.
The tornado ripped whole sections of roof off some homes, tore tiles from other roofs, uprooted trees and left the street strewn with debris.
One car was buried under a pile of fallen bricks, video footage from Sky News showed.
"It was like some sort of cyclone," said Tim Klotz, a resident of the Kensal Rise neighborhood in northwest London.
"I was actually in an attic room working at my desk on the computer and there was heavy rain and sleet and then the wind just really changed. I looked up through a skylight and debris was falling through the air. I heard what seemed like large, clay dominoes falling, which I think were roof tiles," Klotz said.
Daniel Bidgood told British Broadcasting Corp. radio that he saw a "huge cloud rolling up the street," making a loud sound.
"I went to try to take a picture of it but a shower of debris smashed all the windows of my house," Bidgood said.
An average of 33 tornadoes are reported annually in Britain, according to the Tornado and Storm Research Organization.
One of the worst to hit Britain destroyed the church of St. Mary le Bow and 600 homes in central London in 1091.
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