Woman dies after tree falls on car

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: A woman has died after a falling tree hit her car in Co Westmeath A woman has died after a falling tree hit her car in Co Westmeath

A young woman died after a tree fell on her car amid gale force storms battering Ireland.

The 23-year-old died from her injuries after paramedics cut her free from the wreckage, near Mullingar in Co Westmeath.

Gardai were called to the scene on Ballymahon Road, outside Mullingar, at around 4pm.

A tree came down amid high winds and the woman - who was the sole occupant of the car - was trapped inside.

Emergency services worked to free her, and she was taken to the Midland Regional Hospital where she died from her injuries at around 5.30pm.

Strong downpours and gusts of up to 90mph were expected to batter Northern Ireland and north west Scotland throughout the night, with torrential weather making its way through central England too.

The bad weather, caused by an Atlantic depression, saw Stoke City's home tie against Manchester United in the League Cup temporarily suspended due to heavy rain and hailstones.

Referee Mark Clattenburg briefly pulled players off the Britannia Stadium's pitch, reaffirming Stoke's image as a tough place to visit on a wet and windy Wednesday night.

Play was resumed shortly afterwards and United went on to win the quarter-final 0-2.

Forecasters said the torrential rain and gusty conditions affecting England were tied in with the strong winds moving north up the coast of Northern Ireland and into north west Scotland.

At 10pm the Environment Agency had 22 flood warnings in place in England and Wales, with flooding expected and immediate action required.

Warnings were concentrated across the South West, Wales and the North West.

There were also 113 flood alerts, with flooding possible and the public told to "be prepared" throughout the rest of the country.

Police closed the A595 at Moota in Cumbria after the roof was blown off a hotel, with motorists asked to avoid the area.

A roof blew off another property in Seaton and disruption due to trees blocking roads was reported in Whitehaven and Hackthorpe.

There were also delays for train passengers across parts of the South West.

South West Trains reported problems due to trees on the track near Sherborne in Dorset and on a train between Exeter and Axeminster in Devon.

In Sheffield, a Sky Bet Championship football match had to be abandoned this evening when heavy rain left the pitch unplayable.

Sheffield Wednesday's home match against Wigan, at Hillsborough Stadium, was called off early in the second half after large puddles appeared on the playing surface.

In Northern Ireland 7,000 electricity customers lost power as strong winds wreaked havoc with the supply network.

Engineers managed to get 5,000 back on the grid, but by 10pm were still working to restore supply to the remaining 2,000.

Northern Ireland Electricity said it had responded to around 200 incidents of damage to the network in northern and eastern areas of the region

Damage included trees coming down across powerlines and broken electricity poles.

Julia Carson, NIE communications manager, said some customers could be without power throughout the night as it was too dangerous to carry out certain repairs while storms raged.

"Our emergency crews will continue to work where it is safe to do so," she said.

"We were prepared for the storm and have already restored over 5,000 customers to power since the winds swept across Northern Ireland this afternoon. However, we are expecting the winds to peak in the early hours of the morning, causing additional disruption to electricity supplies."

The NIE Customer Helpline is contactable on 08457 643 643 or on nie.co.uk.

Electricity North West said that 3,500 properties in Cumbria and Lancashire were without power due to strong winds and debris bringing lines down.

A spokeswoman said: "We are trying to restore power to those homes as quick as we can but where lines have been brought down it will realistically take until tomorrow to get there."

Nearly 900 homes were also left without power in the Neath Valley, south Wales, after a high-voltage electrical cable was blown down at around 6pm.

Western Power said it was working to restore power, while police warned members of the public to stay away from the the source of the problem in Cefn Yr Allt area of Aberdulais.

A man was rushed to hospital with head and chest injuries after a large tree was brought down on top of a car by the strong winds.

The falling tree smashed the windscreen and left the front seat passenger, a 19-year-old man, with facial wounds, according to West Midlands Ambulance Service.

He was anaesthetised at the scene and taken to hospital.

A nother passenger, a man in his 50s, and the male driver suffered minor injuries in the accident which happened at about 6pm on the A45, between Stretton-on-Dunsmore and Rugby, in Warwickshire.

An ambulance spokesman said: "The driver of the car was also taken to the same hospital as a precaution."

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