Whirlwind caused havoc at Essex fair

Several people were hit by flying debris at the fete in Cressing

A sudden whirlwind lifted tables and sent stalls flying when it struck a village fete in Essex.

Cressing Village Fayre was coming to an end on Saturday when the damage was caused.

One woman was hit on the back of the head by a flying table but no one was seriously injured.

Fair organiser Sue Turner said: "As quickly as it came it disappeared and then people rushed to help."

She described the scene as the whirlwind blew in: "Visitors around the arena were watching an egg catching competition when it struck one area of the field.

"Gazebos, tables, chairs and contents were lifted into the air and spread over gardens and the school.

"One lady was hit across the back of her head by a flying table, another was tangled in the shreds of her gazebo. It was horrendous but luckily no-one was seriously injured.

"St John Ambulance and Essex Police Community Support Officers helped the organisers to calm the situation and everyone helped to clear away the mangled mess that was left behind.

"We would like to thank everyone who helped and express our sympathy to those that lost so much."

Chris Bell from WeatherQuest said it was likely to have been a "dust devil" or whirlwind caused by heat.

"Clouds were too high for it to have been a tornado," he said.

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