Belfast Telegraph

Engineer (20s) killed in tree fall after Storm Ali hits Northern Ireland

  • A man is killed and another is injured in tree fall in Co Armagh
  • A woman dies after caravan cliff plunge in Galway
  • 91mph winds reported in NI
  • 90,000 cut off
  • 60 NI roads blocked during storm

By Michael Sheils McNamee and Jonathan Bell

An engineer in his 20s has been killed in a tree fall in Co Armagh amid the high winds of Storm Ali.

It understood the man was working near the entrance of Slieve Gullion Forest Park outside the village of Meigh when the incident happened.

He was working as a contractor for NI Water. A male colleague in his 40s was also hurt.

A NI Water spokesperson said: “NI Water is aware of an incident involving employees of one of our contractors.  Emergency services attended to two individuals. Sadly one of these people died at the scene.

“NI Water is currently working closely with the Emergency Services, the Health and Safety Executive and the PSNI and will do everything possible to assist.

“Our thoughts are with the families of those involved at this time.”

WEATHER A (74).jpg
Emergency services and a forensic officer at Slieve Gullion forest park in Co Armagh, where a contractor working for Northern Ireland Water died after he was hit by a falling tree as Storm Ali wreaked havoc across Ireland. Brian Lawless/PA Wire

The Health and Safety Executive said it is aware of the incident.

Meanwhile, 60 roads have been closed and over 90,000 properties across Northern Ireland cut off from the electricity grid after Storm Ali hit on Wednesday.

Northern Ireland Electricity Networks said it continued to face "extremely challenging" conditions. While it said over 70,000 customers had their power restored, there could still be more faults as the afternoon progressed. Hundreds of staff have been brought on to cope with the demand.

Work to repair power cuts affecting around 22,000 homes and businesses and remove debris on roads remains ongoing.

A fallen tree hits a lorry on Osbourne Park near the Lisburn Road in Belfast during the heavy winds on Wednesday. Pic Colm Lenaghan /Pacemaker
A fallen tree hits a lorry on Osbourne Park near the Lisburn Road in Belfast during the heavy winds on Wednesday. Pic Colm Lenaghan /Pacemaker
Emergency Services attend the scene at the Entrance of Slieve Gullion Forest Park outside the village of Meigh in Co Armagh. An engineer died after a tree fall. Pic Newraypics.com
Whiterocks beach during Storm Ali. Credit: Jamie Russell
General views of a tree that has fallen at the Robbs Road Dundonald, Belfast ,as Storm Ali batters the province. Picture by Leah Matthews Press Eye ©
Wednesday 19th September 2018 Mandatory Credit - Picture by Leah Matthews Press Eye © General views of a tree that has fallen at the Robbs Road Dundonald, Belfast ,as Storm Ali batters the province.
Wednesday 19th September 2018 Mandatory Credit - Picture by Leah Matthews Press Eye © General views of a tree that has fallen at the Robbs Road Dundonald, Belfast ,as Storm Ali batters the province.
Wednesday 19th September 2018 Mandatory Credit - Picture by Leah Matthews Press Eye © General views of a tree that has fallen at the Robbs Road Dundonald, Belfast ,as Storm Ali batters the province.
19th September 2018 General views of a tree that has fallen at the Albert Clock in Belfast as Storm Ali batters the province. Mandatory Credit © Presseye/Stephen Hamilton
19th September 2018 General views of a tree that has fallen at the Albert Clock in Belfast as Storm Ali batters the province. Mandatory Credit © Presseye/Stephen Hamilton
Pacemaker Press 19/08/2018 A fallen tree hits a oil lorry on Osbourne Park near the Lisburn Road in Belfast during the heavy winds on Wednesday. Thirty-two thousand homes across Northern Ireland are without electricity as Storm Ali intensifies. An amber weather warning is in place and wind gusts of up to 65mph are expected inland. Higher gusts are likely in the north west and north coast. The storm is due to reach its peak before 12:00 BST. Pic Colm Lenaghan /Pacemaker
Clear up begins in Bedford Street Belfast as storm Ali takes it's toll. Pic Freddie Parkinson Presseye
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Clear up begins in Bedford Street Belfast as storm Ali takes it's toll.
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Lorry hit by falling tree on Osbourne Park, Belfast. Driver was taken to hospital with minor injuries.
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Lorry hit by falling tree on Osbourne Park, Belfast. Driver was taken to hospital with minor injuries.
Belfast City council closes public parks across the city due to adverse weather conditions as Storm Ali hits Northern Ireland. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th September 2018 Belfast City council closes public parks across the city due to adverse weather conditions as Storm Ali hits Northern Ireland. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
PACEMAKER BELFAST 19/9/2018 The m1 near Lisburn is a standstill due to fallen cable which closed the motorway in both direction causing major delays to motorists. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th September 2018 Belfast City council closes public parks across the city due to adverse weather conditions as Storm Ali hits Northern Ireland. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
A tree down on the main A44 into Ballycastle. Pic Ben Tucker
Storm Ali batters the County Antrim coastline Mandatory Credit © Presseye/Stephen Hamilton
Alan Lewis - PhotopressBelfast.co.uk 19/9/2018 Mandatory Credit - Picture by Graham Curry Strong winds on the Ards peninsula this morning as Storm Ali hits the Portaferry Road on the outskirts of Newtownards in Co. Down
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © M1 Motorway is closed westbound from Black's Road Dunmurry and east bound from Saintfield Road due to fallen cables. Motorists should seek alternative routes. Saintfield Road is also closed at the junction of the old Ballynahinch Road due to a fallen tree. Motorists are advised to exercise extreme caution in adverse weather conditions. Police are advising motorists to stay in their vehicles.

A spokesperson for NIE Networks said, “We are expecting that the vast majority of customers affected will have power restored tomorrow however some small, isolated pockets of customers are likely to be without power for longer.

“We are currently dealing with over a thousand individual faults on our network and our crews are working as quickly as possible to deal with them but the damage is extensive.”

It is the first big storm of the season with an amber warning issued for high winds and heavy showers throughout Wednesday. There have been reports of winds reaching 91mph.

Police said they are getting a high number of calls about road blockages. In south Belfast a lorry driver was taken to hospital with minor injuries after a tree hit his cab.

While trains have been put on a restricted speed limit, boats cancelled and flights delayed or cancelled.

The Met Office amber alert is in place until 5pm.

NIE Networks is reminding customers of the precautionary measures to take in the event of a power cut:

  • Never approach broken lines or damaged poles, and keep children and animals away - report damage to NIE Networks on 03457 643 643 and listen to recorded messages carefully
  • If you are using a generator, be careful where you site it in case of carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Turn off electric cookers, ovens, irons, etc. if electricity supply is lost
  • Leave a light switched on so you know when power has been restored
  • Take extra care if using candles, oil lamps or other naked flames
  • Test smoke alarms with fresh batteries
  • Ensure adequate ventilation if using gas heaters.

Tweet @BelTel your weather updates and pictures through the day

Meanwhile in Galway emergency services attended the scene Claddaghduff after a caravan was blown off the cliff in which a woman died. RTE reports the home is on the coastline and has not been submerged by the water.

A total of 55,000 homes and businesses, mainly in the south-west of Ireland, have been left without power due to the bad weather, the Electricity Supply Board (ESB) said.

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