Cornwall 'tornado' throws wreckage 300ft
- 14 January 2015
- From the section Cornwall
A suspected tornado threw a summerhouse roof some 300ft (90m) through the air and left a trail of destruction.
The freak weather ripped the guttering and tiles from roofs in Park Bottom, Illogan, in Cornwall and left them in a nearby field on Tuesday night.
Stunned residents described a "massive whirling noise" as windows were blown in and debris smashed into cars.
Weather experts said it was "plausible" that a tornado was whipped up during a severe storm.
The freak weather struck at abut 21:15 GMT, said John Budd, whose 6ft (1.8m) by 8ft (2.4m) wooden summerhouse was ripped from his garden.
"All of a sudden there was a loud roaring noise and then a bang," he said.
"I thought a plane had come down."
Mr Budd's summerhouse roof had been blown four houses down the street and landed in Trev Harris's garden after striking his conservatory and roof.
Roof slates were piled on the ground outside.
A large trampoline had also been catapulted four houses down the street.
Mr Harris said: "I said to my wife we have a shed-load of material in the garden and then I realised it was a shed."
Neighbour Dave Crabtree said: "There was an almighty sound of the wind whistling. The window was vibrating and all the glass shattered into the living room.
"It went everywhere. It missed my wife Lynne by an inch or two."
BBC weatherman Kevin Thomas said: "It sounds like a tornado; the clues are the roaring sound and the localisation of the damage and the fact that weighty objects have been picked up."
A lightning strike blasted a hole in the roof of a house in Hayle during the storm.
Snow caused hazardous driving conditions in Cornwall, especially around Launceston, and the A3074 near Lelant was closed after high winds brought down trees and power cables.