Man dies after falling down manhole as Storm Isha causes chaos with 99mph winds

22 January 2024, 15:24

Fresh 'danger to life' warnings have been issued by the Met Office after Storm Isha battered the UK and Ireland with winds up to 99mph overnight, claiming two lives
Fresh 'danger to life' warnings have been issued by the Met Office after Storm Isha battered the UK and Ireland with winds up to 99mph overnight, claiming two lives. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Storm Isha claimed at least five lives as it battered parts of the country, bringing with it winds of up to 99mph.

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In Bradford, a man died in a fall down a manhole when safety barriers were destroyed in high winds. The victim suffered a fatal head injury after falling into the exposed hole.

Emergency services were called to Highgate Road, Bradford, but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

A West Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: "At 7.19 this morning officers were called by the ambulance service to reports of a concern for safety at Highgate Road, Queensbury.

"A man was pronounced dead at the scene.

"The man’s death is not being treated as suspicious and a file will be prepared for the coroner in due course."

A man in his 60s died last night in Northern Ireland when his van hit a tree, an 84-year-old man died after the car he was a front seat passenger in crashed into a fallen tree in Grangemouth, Falkirk, and two others died in other crashes in Ireland.

A woman in her 20s died after a van she was a passenger in crashed into a tree and a man in his 40s died in a car crash in Co Mayo.

The Met Office today issued fresh 'danger to life' warnings after Storm Isha battered the UK and Ireland with winds up to 99mph.

The national weather service issued the amber waring as around 70,000 people remained without power and transport services remained disrupted throughout the country.

Ireland's Meteorological Service named the oncoming tempest as Storm Jocelyn, which is expected to cause strong winds from Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

The UK Met Office issued an amber warning for wind covering western and northern Scotland from 6pm on Tuesday until 8am on Wednesday.

Less serious yellow warnings are also issued for wind across much of the UK, north of Oxford, and Peterborough, and for rain in an area of western Scotland stretching from the border with England to near Inverness.

It comes after Storm Isha battered the UK overnight, killing an 84-year-old man in Scotland and a second man in County Londonderry last night.

A car stranded in flood water in Warwick bridge in Cumbria as Storm Isha brought disruption to the electricity and transport networks across the UK
A car stranded in flood water in Warwick bridge in Cumbria as Storm Isha brought disruption to the electricity and transport networks across the UK. Picture: Alamy

Read More: Storm Isha claims first victim after man, 84, killed as car crashes into fallen tree

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The 84-year-old man was killed after the car he was a front seat passenger in crashed into a fallen tree in Grangemouth, Falkirk, Police Scotland said.

The incident happened on the A905 Beancross Road at around 11.45pm during an amber weather warning issued by the UK's Met Office which covered the whole country.

The second man died after a tree fell on his car in County Londonderry. He had been driving along Broad Road in Limavady last night.

Northern Ireland's Ambulance Service said it received an emergency callout for the incident at about 9.45pm.

Transport was also thrown into chaos as fallen trees affected railways and roads. Traffic Scotland reported stretches of the M9 and M74 among the roads closed, while the A1 southbound was blocked at Thorntonloch because of an overturned lorry.

High winds forced the closure of the Tay Road Bridge, M48 Severn Bridge and the A66 in Durham and Cumbria between the A1(M) and the M6, while the Humber Bridge, A19 Tees Flyover and A628 Woodhead Pass in Derbyshire were among stretches closed to high-sided vehicles.

White water at the Falls of Dochart in Killin, Stirling, after Storm Isha blew through the area overnight
White water at the Falls of Dochart in Killin, Stirling, after Storm Isha blew through the area overnight. Picture: Alamy

Read More: Thousands without power and planes unable to land as Storm Isha puts UK on 'tornado watch' with 90mph winds

Read More: Storm Isha set to batter Britain: Met Office extends rare amber warning for 90mph winds as people warned not to travel

Fallen trees and flooding caused ScotRail to suspend all services from 7pm on Sunday until around 11am when some lines reopened.

A Network Rail spokesman said "hundreds of engineers" were deployed with chainsaws and cherry pickers to remove debris from tracks.

"It's been a wild night, but passengers and railway staff have been kept safe and we will work tirelessly to get the railway back on its feet as quickly as we can," he said.

Most routes in England and Wales were open on Monday but with some residual delays.

Air traffic control restrictions on Sunday night led to flight cancellations and caused many planes to divert. Ryanair flights to Dublin from Manchester and Lanzarote in the Canary Islands diverted to the French cities of Paris and Bordeaux respectively.

The Met Office said the highest recorded wind speed during Storm Isha was 99mph at Brizlee Wood in Northumberland, with gusts of 90mph at Capel Curig in Snowdonia on Sunday.

A rare red warning for wind in north-east Scotland was in place until 5am on Monday, with amber warnings covering much of the UK until 6am and further yellow warnings covering the entire country until noon.

A further yellow warning for wind for Scotland, Northern Ireland, north Wales and northern England is active from 4pm on Tuesday until noon on Wednesday.

The Met Office said "everybody" was affected by the storm. Heavy downpours battered some places, with 28 flood warnings in place in England and 50 in Scotland.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland said the weather put "significant pressure" on the 999 system and urged people to report non-emergencies online or by calling 101.

Chief Superintendent Davy Beck said many roads across Northern Ireland were impassable on Monday morning.

The Met Office said Storm Isha - the ninth named storm to hit the UK since the season began in September - is moving away from the UK on Monday but conditions remained windy with a mixture of sunny spells and scattered showers.

Showers were expected to be heaviest and most frequent in the north and west.