Cornwall 'tornado' throws wreckage 300ft

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Media captionResident Roger May had a trampoline blown into his garden: ''I thought it was a was quite a scary moment''

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.

Image caption Several cars were damaged as the suspected tornado swept down the road
Image caption Remains of the summerhouse lie wrecked in a garden
Image caption A trampoline was catapulted four houses along the road by the suspected tornado
Image caption Residents said it was lucky no-one was injured
Image caption Roofs were damaged as the summerhouse was blown down the road

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.

Image copyright Hayley Stanton
Image caption A window of Dave and Lynne Crabtree's house was blown in

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.

Image copyright Dave Nash
Image caption St Austell got a covering of snow which caused hazardous driving conditions in Cornwall
Image copyright Jonathan Williams
Image caption The Liskeard to Minions road was covered in snow on Wednesday morning

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