Tributes to storm death victims

Friends and colleagues have paid tribute to the four people killed during a violent storm that hit England and Wales.

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Storm causes damage across London

The biggest storm to hit the UK since 2007 has left a trail of damage across London.

Four people have died, hundreds of thousands of homes have been left without power, and travellers suffered transport chaos after hurricane-force conditions battered the country.

David Cameron earlier paid tribute to the work of the emergency services in combating the disruption caused by the storm.

A fence is seen after being crushed by a falling branch beside Ruskin Park, Camberwell, London Credit: PA Wire
A woman cuts through a gap in the fence after it was crushed by a falling branch in Ruskin Park which is currently closed to the public Credit: PA Wire
A tree fallen in Hackney after the storms overnight. Credit: PA Wire

Five people escaped blast which damaged five houses

The London Fire Brigade has said that five people escaped from a blast believed to have been a suspected gas explosion caused by a falling tree.

Crews arrive just before 7.45am and were faced with a severe collapse across three terraced houses. Two further houses either side of the initial collapse were damaged substantially.

Throughout the day we have had crews working to search the building and we have been deploying our urban search and rescue teams to assist in the search and rescue.

– London Fire Brigade spokesman

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Family pay tribute to the 'best husband and father'

The family of Donal Drohan, who was killed when a tree fell on his car in Watford, have paid tribute to the "best husband and father anyone could wish for".

The tribute read: “Donal was a loving husband and father of three. He was the best husband and father anyone could wish for.

"You couldn't find anyone who had a bad word to say about him. He was very supportive to everybody who knew him and couldn't say no to helping out with anything."

Donal Drohan, 51, was killed after a tree fell on his car in Watford Credit: PA Wire

Mr Drohan was an "active member of the community" who was heavily involved with local groups.

His family said he loved chocolate describing him as a "chocoholic".

The incident occured at around 6.50am this morning and the 51-year-old, originally from Waterford in Ireland, died at the scene.

Environment Agency issues 104 flood alerts

The Environment Agency has issued 104 flood alerts across England and Wales where it warns "Flooding is possible. Be prepared".

There are five flood warnings in place, where "Flooding is expected. Immediate action required," including two the Anglian region, one in the Midlands and two in the South West.

There are flood alerts across the country. Credit: Environment Agency

Some nine flood alerts are in place in the Anglian region, 34 in the Midlands, four in the North West, 23 in the South East, 30 in the South West and four in Wales.

Three houses damaged by suspected gas explosion

Three houses were damaged by the blast, which is thought to have been caused by a ruptured gas main. Emergency services also took three people to hospital, with a man receiving treatment for a cut to the face and a woman for a cut to the ear.

A suspected gas explosion is believed to have been caused by a falling tree. Credit: @LondonFire

Both have been discharged, while a third woman remains in hospital with burn injuries to her hand. The two deceased were among four victims killed as Britain was battered by a storm which swept across the South West, South East, Midlands and East of England.

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PM: 'Thoughts of MPs with storm victims'

David Cameron has said the thoughts of all MPs were with the families of the four people who died after hurricane-force conditions swept the UK.

Describing the storm that has battered the country as one of "worst storms for years", Mr Cameron said: "I know the thoughts of the whole House will be with the families and friends of the four people that we know have lost their lives."

Prime Minister David Cameron paying tribute to the four victims of the storm.

The Prime Minister went on to pay tribute to the work of the emergency services: "I'm sure the whole House will join me in paying tribute to our emergency services and to all those who have been working to clear up the debris and to get our transport system moving again.

"All the agencies involved are working as fast as possible to get things back to normal."

Police trying to identify woman who died in explosion

A woman and a man died in a suspected gas explosion after they were caught beneath rubble when a tree blown over by hurricane-force winds caused, Scotland Yard said.

Detectives found the body of the man, in his 40s, at around noon at the address in Bath Road, Hounslow, west London.

He has been identified and next of kin have been informed. The woman was found dead an hour and a half later and police are working to establish her identity.

School in 'shock' over girl who died in mobile home

Bethany Freeman Credit: Kent Police

Bethany Freeman, the 17-year-old girl who died when a tree fell on her mobile home this morning, was a sixth form pupil at Tunbridge Wells Grammar School (TWGGS), it has emerged.

In a statement on its website, the school said she was "universally respected" and "had everything to look forward to".

It said: "The whole of the TWGGS community is profoundly shocked and saddened at the news of Beth Freeman's tragic death. Beth was killed in the storms, early on Monday morning by a falling tree."

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