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London man dead in lake plunge as Ireland prepares itself for more heavy snow

By Ryan Hooper

A man has died after being pulled from a lake as sub-zero temperatures swept across the UK - with further icy blasts and "blizzard-like" conditions yet to come.

The victim, in his 60s, fell into Danson Park in Welling, London, yesterday afternoon and was rescued by a member of the public, London Fire Brigade said.

Police said the man was later pronounced dead in hospital.

Elsewhere, a young boy had a lucky escape when he was rescued from a frozen lake.

Firefighters rescued the youngster, who tried to run to the middle of a frozen lake and got trapped when the ice broke up at Laindon near Basildon, Essex. He was said to have been cold but otherwise unhurt.

Tony Clark, area manager for Essex Fire Service, said: "I don't even want to think about what we could have been called to if he had fallen in. It came as the highest level of weather warning was issued for Scotland and Ireland.

A red alert for Munster and Leinster in the Republic and the central belt of Scotland has been put out for heavy snow and strong winds.

This is the first red alert for snow in Scotland under the new warning system. There have been red warnings for wind and rain north of the border before, the Met Office confirmed.

Schools are set to close and public transport severely curtailed across the UK and Ireland.

Dublin, Kildare, Louth, Wicklow and Meath are also covered by a red warning, which was issued early yesterday morning.

Almost four million people in the Republic have been told to be at home by 4pm today as the country braces itself for blizzard-like conditions with potentially fatal consequences.

Not since 1982 has the South been struck with such force by Mother Nature, as Storm Emma clashes with Arctic winds.

It will cause heavy snowfall and gusts of up to 68mph, resulting in zero visibility.

The Irish Defence Forces are being prepared to conduct emergency ambulance and firefighting, due to concerns about safety risk to personnel. The emergency group chairman Sean Hogan said: "People will need to be conscious of the conditions which prevail. Our message is very clear - this storm is coming."

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