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Woman dies as Storm Doris causes damage and travel disruption

A woman has been killed after being struck by flying debris and two other people were left with serious head injuries a s Storm Doris brought winds of up to 94mph to the UK.

The storm is now set to leave trail of ice, wintry showers and a 7C plunge in temperatures to around 3C (37F) in the south.

A girl was also left with life-threatening injuries after a ceiling collapsed in a school sports hall.

Thames Valley Police said "It is possible" the collapse was caused by the storm.

Police will be holding a joint-investigation with Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service to figure out the cause of the ceiling collapse at Southwood Middle School in Conniburrow, Milton Keynes.

The woman died after suffering "very serious head injuries" after being hit as she walked past a Starbucks in Wolverhampton city centre, West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) said.

Coffee giant Starbucks has since said in a statement that the company is "shocked and saddened by the terrible incident", which happened at around midday.

West Midlands Police have since confirmed the 29-year-old woman was "struck" by "wooden debris from a nearby building" and have said they are working with Wolverhampton Council to establish how the incident happened.

A force spokeswoman added: "The area remains cordoned off while investigations are ongoing.

"The lady's family have been informed and are being supported at this tragic time."

Eyewitness Rebecca Davis, a 40-year-old teacher from the city, described the piece of flying debris as "about the size of a coffee table".

Two other people have also been left with head injuries.

A man is said to be in a "serious condition" in a central London hospital, following reports of "debris falling from the roof of a building" by Victoria Station at around 3pm, the Metropolitan Police said.

In Stoke-on-Trent a woman in her 60s was taken to hospital for a "serious head injury" after being hit by a carport roof.

WMAS said they were called to a property in Hartshill Road shortly before 2.15pm.

A spokesman said: "Crews were told the roof fell down and hit the woman, which subsequently caused her to collide with a wall.

"The woman, believed to be in her 60s, was treated for a serious head injury and was suffering from a slightly reduced level of consciousness."

WMAS said she was also treated for injuries to her face, hand and chest before being taken to Royal Stoke University Hospital for further care.

A top wind speed of 94mph was recorded in Capel Curig, North Wales, on Thursday morning as Doris rolled across the UK.

The weather system which brought gales, snow and rain to much of the UK, has caused travel disruption on the roads and rail network, brought down trees, grounded planes, and toppled large vehicles.

As Doris hit, Peel Ports in Liverpool announced the city's port had been closed due to "100mph gusts of wind".

Network Rail advised "Storm Doris has caused significant disruption throughout the country", with an enforced speed limit on some lines.

With fallen trees, objects caught in overhead wires, flooding and debris on the tracks causing delays across many services, a spokesman said employees are "doing all we can to keep the network running".

Flights were also affected, with a Heathrow spokesman warning of a "10% reduction" in the airport's schedule.

Highways England also issued a weather alert on major roads.

A number of carriageways were closed as Doris lashed Britain, including the M6 Thelwall Viaduct in both directions between junctions 20 and 21 in the North West and the QE2 Bridge in Dartford, Kent.

In Scotland snowfall saw the M80 closed in both directions, as well as schools shut and some ferry services cancelled.

In Ireland almost 46,000 households woke up to no electricity after violent gusts battered large swathes of the country throughout the night.

Met Office meteorologist Emma Sharples said the winds would drop as Storm Doris moves out into the North Sea.

"Then the focus turns more to it turning cold, frosty and icy overnight, with wintry showers around as well," she said.

With the mercury set to hit around 0C (32F) to 3C (37F) in cities overnight, a Met Office yellow warning for ice has been issued to cover Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England.

The Met Office said temperatures will fall quickly as the persistent rain, sleet and snow clears, leaving untreated surfaces to freeze and become icy.


From Belfast Telegraph