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Last Updated: Friday, 15 June 2007, 17:57 GMT 18:57 UK
Workers trapped as river floods
Brookvale Road, Birmingham
A reader sent in this picture of flooding on Brookvale Road
About 100 people were trapped in a factory after a nearby river burst its banks and flooded the ground floor.

Water around the plant in Water Orton Lane, in Minworth, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, rose to about 6ft deep in places after the River Tame burst.

Several people were led to safety but some remained trapped on the top floor until the evening.

Another 200 houses have flooded in Aston, Birmingham, due to the River Tame bursting its banks.

There have also been several reports of tornados across the area with fire crews being called on Cradley Road, Cradley Heath, where tiles were dislodged from roofs.

A fire service spokesman said: "We don't know if it definitely was a tornado but it was certainly something and there is a bit of damage."

Rising water levels

No-one was injured or required medical assistance during the incident at the WH Smith & Son Tools Ltd factory in Sutton Coldfield.

Map showing River Tame, Birmingham
The firm's manufacturing manager, Dennis Rodway, said: "We are all sitting in a nice warm rest-room, which is very well appointed, to see what can be done to get us out.

"The factory itself is perfectly dry but we are still surrounded by water.

"We have still got power and nobody is going to starve. It's just a matter of sitting it out."

A fire service spokesman said the people who stayed inside the factory were safe, comfortable and warm and there was no need to carry out an emergency rescue.

Fire crews described the scene in Brookvale Road, Aston, as a major incident and said the water was up to 5ft (1.5m) deep.

About 90 were still inside their properties, preferring to sit it out rather than move. Fire crews have boats waiting to take away anyone who needs it.

"They are safe but surrounded by water. We can either wait for it to subside or get people out for whatever reason they wish," the spokesman said.

Water levels on the river are continuing to rise but slowly, a spokesman added.

Meanwhile, earlier flooding has caused havoc with rail services.

Central Trains has suspended its services from Birmingham to Walsall, Rugeley to Hednesford and Birmingham to Leicester.

Other services are running but are subject to delays and disruption.

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