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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 January 2007, 21:37 GMT
Five people killed in bad weather
A woman died after a wall collapsed in Fern Close, Stockport
A 60-year-old woman was crushed to death in Stockport
Five people have been killed and at least a dozen injured in severe weather in the North West.

A 60-year-old woman was crushed to death when a wall collapsed on top of her in Fern Close, Marple, Stockport.

Police said a man died after opening his van doors and falling over in North Street, Strangeways, Manchester.

A third man was killed in Chester when his lorry was blown over, a fourth died repairing a fence near Birkenhead and a fifth was struck by a tree near Crewe.

Derek Barley, 61, of Manchester, was working on a site in Middlewich when he was fatally injured.

Police said a man in his 80s suffered a suspected heart attack while trying to mend the fence after it was damaged in high winds in Prenton, near Birkenhead on the Wirral.

Storms at Blackpool
Heavy rain and winds affected travel around the north west
A spokesman for Cheshire Constabulary said a German lorry driver died when his vehicle overturned on the A55 near Chester.

Greater Manchester Police said the woman who was killed in Stockport had been standing next to the wall to take shelter when it collapsed.

She suffered serious injuries and was taken to Stepping Hill Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

The man who died in the Strangeways area was a 62-year-old from Salford, police said.

He fell backwards and hit his head on the ground at about 1400 GMT.

Three women were also hurt by flying debris in other parts of Greater Manchester.

Fallen tree on Nell Lane, Chorlton, Greater Manchester - pic supplied by Steven Jones
A tree was blown over on Nell Lane near Chorlton High School
A 66-year-old man was fighting for life in hospital after being blown over in Tameside, Greater Manchester, on Thursday afternoon.

He was standing outside the Mottram Towers flats, in Mottram, Hyde, when he was knocked down by a gust of wind at 1435 GMT.

The man hit his head on a metal cabin as he fell, and suffered serious head and chest injuries.

Gales also caused problems on the M6 - two lorries were blown over in Lancashire and another two jack-knifed further south in Cheshire.

Police at the scene of the latest lorry accident, near junction 32 at Stubbins, Lancashire, described the weather conditions as "horrendous".

Power cuts

The Thelwall Viaduct on the M6 was closed due to high winds but re-opened at about 1730 GMT.

More than 60,000 properties in Lancashire and south Cumbria were without power after overhead lines were brought down or damaged.

The worst affected areas were in Tarleton, Ormskirk and Skelmersdale.

Two schoolboys were taken to hospital after a tree toppled on to them in Merseyside.

An ambulance was called to St Augustine of Canterbury Catholic High School in St Helens just after 1400 GMT.

Schoolboys injured

The two 12-year-old boys were taken to hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries.

Train services from all Manchester stations were temporarily suspended as Network Rail checked for overhead line damage and debris on the tracks.

Rail passengers were being advised to check services before travelling.

The motorway network in Greater Manchester saw a number of sections closed due to strong winds, and the M60 was closed around Barton Bridge near the Trafford Centre.

Greater Manchester Police are urging motorists to avoid any unnecessary journeys.

Planes from Liverpool John Lennon Airport were unable to take off between 1330 GMT and 1600 GMT due to high winds.

Airport spokesman Robin Tudor said several flights were delayed later on in the day.

The Hale Lighthouse on the River Mersey
The storms were causing high waves around the region
At Manchester Airport, British Airways flights to London Heathrow were cancelled because of the adverse weather conditions.

People working in offices near the site also reported seeing a number of aborted landings by planes "wobbling" in the high winds.

A Manchester Airport spokeswoman said a number of pilots had undertaken "go arounds", which she said was a standard manoeuvre.

Passengers worried about possible cancellations should check with their individual airlines, she added.

A 31-year-old woman suffered head injuries when a piece of metal was blown from a roof on Bridge Street in Manchester city centre.

An 89-year-old woman was injured when a sign blew off the front of a shop in Horwich, Bolton, and another woman was struck by flying glass in Oldham.

Part of the roof from Oldham police station, on Barn Street, was blown off by strong winds. Most of the debris fell into an internal police exercise yard. Greater Manchester Police said no one was injured.

Buckling roads

Warrington Street and part of Fleet Street in Ashton Under Lyne were also closed after a roof came off an empty building.

Debris blocked the carriageway and building inspectors were called to the site.

Five people suffered injuries described as "serious but not life-threatening" when a building partially collapsed in Cheshire.

The premises on the Taylor Business Park in Warrington buckled under high winds at 1330 GMT.

Flood watch alerts were issued by the Environment Agency for areas in Cheshire, Lancashire and Merseyside.

The River Irwell also flooded at Ramsbottom, leaving large parts of Nuttall Park submerged.


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