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Last Updated: Friday July 23 2010 13:03 GMT

Ice block from plane smashes house

Ice block crashes into house

A couple had a nasty shock when a huge chunk of ice crashed through their roof in the middle of the night.

The ice block had fallen from a plane which was flying over their house in Chichester, Sussex.

An aeroplane expert said ice occasionally builds up on the outside of planes, and then starts to melt when the plane flies into warmer air.

But there are only about 30 incidents a year of these ice blocks falling to Earth, as they normally break down.

Vince Foote, who lives in the house that was hit, said the ice left a 60cm hole in his roof. He added that he and his wife were in a state of shock when they heard the noise at 2am.

He went into his spare room to investigate, forced the door open and found the wreckage.

"There was an enormous hole in both the roof and bedroom ceiling and there were great chunks of ice everywhere," Mr Foote said.

'Freak accident'

He said it had been a lucky escape as he and his wife were not hurt, and that their grandchildren often used the room which was a "terrifying thought".

He added: "It is a such a freak accident, but it could have been so much worse."

A spokesman for West Sussex Fire and Rescue service said it was one of the strangest incidents they had ever been called out to.