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Last Updated: Friday July 29 2005 09:25 GMT

Injuries after Birmingham tornado

Damage caused by a tornado in Birmingham

At least 19 people have been injured - three of them seriously - as a tornado twisted through Birmingham.

Weather experts think the winds may have reached speeds of up to 130mph, affecting hundreds of buildings, according to council officials.

Emergency services are using dogs and specialist equipment to see if anyone has been trapped in the rubble.

The storm started really quickly, damaging buildings, uprooting tree and trapping people in their homes.

An ambulance spokesperson said around 20 patients were taken to hospital and lots of people were treated at the scene by ambulance crews and medics.

A met office spokesperson said: "We have an average of 33 reports of tornadoes in the UK each year but these are especially rare in built-up areas and there has not been one of this strength in many years.

"City centres are not the natural habitat of a tornado; the tall buildings would normally stop their formation."

Your comments

We were watching the news and thought there was another tornado in Florida. When we heard it was Birmingham in the UK we thought we misunderstood what we heard but NO it was true. I am still in shock.
Mark, 13, New York

The tornado just missed my house but I called up my friend to see if she was okay, her dad told me she had gone out and had to abandon the car so she could get home because all the roads were blocked.
Olivia, 10, Birmingham

My Nan has been taken into hospital because she was trapped under a tree which had collapsed. Luckily she is fine and it's lucky it was a small tornado. Hope this never happens again!
Gem, 13, Birmingham

I was playing on the computer when it happened, I didn't see anything from outside but I did feel the roof shaking and I heard something fall too. I went downstairs and everything was messed up, trees and buildings on the floor, but it wasn't that bad on my road.
Zarka, 14, Birmingham

It suddenly went pitch black and I was totally scared and I looked out my window and saw all these twists in the sky.
Nadia, 12, Birmingham

Woah, that's the first time I've heard of a tornado in the UK, I never thought there would be any tornadoes here.
Navpreet, 12, Gillingham

My Grandma lives in Moseley and was affectd by it. She saw the tornado and all the cars being smashed into pieces and homes being destroyed.
Nadia, 12, Grimsby

I didn't see the tornado when it was taking place but I did later see some of the buildings that had been damaged and the trees that had fallen. But the good thing is that nobody lost their life.
Aqeela, 14, Birmingham

Nothing like this should happen in Birmingham.
James, 9, Birmingham

I was a few blocks away when I saw a lot of what I thought was smoke but was dirt! Then I ran home scared! I went to see the damage a little later after I heard it was a tornado and it was scary!
James, 12, Birmingham

One of my mates was on the news talking about it. I live really close to where it struck but luckily it didn't affect me too badly. It was quite creepy, everything went very dark and there was loads of wind.
Rachael, 12, Birmingham

I was actually in the shops at the time and we were told to go outside because the roof was falling in! When we went out there were people screaming and running around, some people were on the floor.
Craig, 11, Birmingham

It was amazing, people were watching with awe. I got dizzy after watching.
Jasmine, 11, Birmingham

It was horrible. You could hear the wind beat against the house. I hated the whole of it.
Stephanie, 13, Birmingham

I was in my bedroom. It went dark. My mum's mobile rang, it was my dad who said he saw a tornado!
Rachel, 8, Birmingham