Oldham mosque tower collapses following Storm Eunice gusts

The minaret was brought crashing down after it was damaged by gale force winds during Storm Eunice. Credit: MEN Media

A mosque tower has been brought crashing down after it was battered by gale force winds during Storm Eunice.

The minaret at Greengate Jamia Masjid in Oldham was left hanging precariously after the high winds on Friday, 18 February.

As the weather continued it was deemed too unsafe for recovery work to be undertaken and the mosque arranged for the safe removal of the minaret on Saturday afternoon.

But before workers could arrive, the tower, which had been held up by a steel column, fell to the ground.

Navaid Afzal, secretary of the mosque, said he was relieved no-one was hurt, but fears there could be a hefty bill as its roof was damaged by the falling tower.

"I was stood there chatting, and all of a sudden I heard this thunder, and a big crash," he said.

"I thought flipping heck, it' was like a plane had come down or something.

"To be honest I can't thank the authorities enough for what they did, they instantly put a cordon in.

"It could have easily killed someone."

Another witness heard a 'massive crash' as the minaret fell onto a concrete area near the mosque, damaging the roof on its way down.

The minaret was left with hanging precariously after it was damaged by Storm Eunice. Credit: MEN Media

Following the damage, police erected a 50m cordon around the site, and advised nearby residents to stay inside.

Prayers have been held at the nearby Greengate Islamic College while the cordon has remained in place.

Several people were killed in tragic incidents across the country during Storm Eunice.

A man in his 50s died after debris struck a van windscreen in Merseyside.

Officers were contacted just after 2:10pm on Friday, 18 February, to reports of an incident on the Switch Island / Dunningsbridge Road in Netherton.

Police say the passenger, a man in his 50s, was declared dead at the scene by paramedics.

The van driver, another man, was not injured.