Nottinghamshire's coroner warns about cold deaths

Nottinghamshire's coroner has urged carers and neighbours to check up on elderly people after seven cold-related deaths in the county in the past week.

Dr Nigel Chapman said such a high concentration of deaths - three of them on Tuesday - was "unusual".

He said carers should be aware of hypothermia symptoms, such as a person irrationally complaining they are too hot and removing their clothes.

The cold weather is also disrupting roads and schools across the county.

Dr Chapman said anyone particularly vulnerable to freezing temperatures should stay indoors.

'Be vigilant'

He also said a higher-than-usual proportion were succumbing to the cold while indoors, perhaps because some elderly people may be suffering from dementia or confusion, many were neglecting to turn on their heating.

He said: "I was talking to the pathologist and we got three just on Tuesday and it suddenly struck me that this is unusual.

"We don't usually get this - we get spates of various illnesses, but I just felt it's not a coincidence.

"The cold weather is here, we're going down to minus temperatures at night, but these people were in houses.

"It's not just out in the street, falling and being laid in the cold, so please just take a little extra care."

Dr Chapman has urged relatives, carers and neighbours to be vigilant.

Image caption Mansfield has seen some of the heaviest snowfall

The cold weather led to the closure of more than 300 schools with many confirming they will remain closed on Friday.

Snow also caused problems for drivers on the M1 near junction 27, and led to the closure of several routes, including the A57 at Worksop.

Other routes affected include A38 Kings Mill Road East in Sutton-in-Ashfield which has been made hazardous by snow and ice

Many of Nottingham's buses have also been disrupted. Details are available on Nottingham City Transport's website.

Rail services across the region have also been affected, with some East Midlands Trains' services cancelled or operating on a revised timetable.

Further snow is forecast with temperatures dropping as low as -8C (17.6F) and freezing conditions expected to continue through the weekend.

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