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PHOTOS: Massive storm 'St Jude' wreaks havoc in Britain

Last updated on: October 29, 2013 09:13 IST

PHOTOS: Massive storm 'St Jude' wreaks havoc in Britain

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Four persons were killed on Monday by St Jude, one of the worst storms to hit Britain in years that also left 600,000 homes without power, paralysed rail traffic and grounded 130 flights.

A teenager in Kent and a man in Watford, north of London, were killed by falling trees, while a man and a woman died in west London after another falling tree caused a suspected gas explosion and house collapse.

A teenage boy was reported missing after the storm caused travel chaos and left nearly 130 flights grounded at Heathrow, Europe's busiest airport.

Text: PTI

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Image: Huge waves crash against a lighthouse as storm 'St Jude' batters Newhaven in South England on Monday
Photographs: Luke MacGregor/Reuters

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PHOTOS: Massive storm 'St Jude' wreaks havoc in Britain

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Bethany Freeman, 17, suffered fatal injuries when a tree came down where she was sleeping in a mobile home in Kent, south-east England, Monday morning.

Police confirmed that the death was weather-related and is not being treated as suspicious.

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Image: Emergency services work at the scene of a storm triggered-fallen tree at Bath Road in Hounslow, west London, on Monday
Photographs: Toby Melville/Reuters

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PHOTOS: Massive storm 'St Jude' wreaks havoc in Britain

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The second fatality involved a 50-year-old man at Watford, north of London, who was pronounced dead at the scene after a tree crushed his red Peugot 307.

The missing boy, named locally as Dylan Alkins, disappeared while playing in the surf at West Beach in Newhaven, East Sussex, last evening.

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Image: A collapsed crane lies on the roof of the Cabinet Office in London
Photographs: Olivia Harris/Reuters

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PHOTOS: Massive storm 'St Jude' wreaks havoc in Britain

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"Any injury or loss of life is hugely regrettable. We have to make sure the emergency services can act as fast as they can to help people," said British Prime Minister David Cameron.

He was in Oxford when a crane collapsed on the Cabinet Office in Westminster as a result of the gale force winds and driving rain.

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Image: The roof of a pedestrian bridge which collapsed during the St Jude storm is seen outside London Bridge Station.
Photographs: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

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A Cabinet Office spokesperson said staff had all been evacuated while the extent of the damage caused by the crane is being assessed and that no one was injured in the incident.

Network Rail said the damage had been "worse than expected," with more than 100 trees on the lines, but limited train services had begun to resume.

While BBC forecaster Steve Cleeton said the storm was "pretty much over" in the UK, around 270,000 homes remain without power as hurricane-force winds continue to batter parts of England and Wales.

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Image: A fallen tree blocks a road in Ealing, west London, on Monday
Photographs: Toby Melville/Reuters

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PHOTOS: Massive storm 'St Jude' wreaks havoc in Britain

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The country's national weather department, the Met Office, said a gust of 159 kmh was recorded and the Environment Agency has issued 17 flood warnings across south-west England and 152 flood alerts across England and Wales.

In northwest France, 30,000 homes were without electricity and the cross-Channel train service, Eurostar, said it will not run many morning trains. Several ferry operators also cancelled cross-Channel services and Irish Sea crossings.

Britain last experienced similar wind strengths in March 2008.

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Image: A man watches stormy seas in strong winds as waves crash on the harbour wall at Brighton marina in south east England on Monday
Photographs: Luke MacGregor/Reuters

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Cameron received an update from officials on contingency planning amid fears of destruction similar to that was caused by the 'Great Storm' of October 1987, which left 18 people dead in Britain and four in France and caused damages worth more than 1 billion pounds.

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Image: The notice board at London Bridge Station shows all trains cancelled during rush hour on Monday
Photographs: Daniel Martinez/Reuters

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Chief forecaster at the Met Office Martin Young said, "While this is a major storm for the UK, We don't currently expect winds to be as strong as those seen in the 'Great Storm' of 1987 or the 'Burns Day storm' of 1990."

This year's storm has been named St Jude after the patron saint of lost causes, whose feast day is on Monday.


Image: A young boy watches as waves crash against the seafront at Dawlish in Devon, on Monday.
Photographs: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

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