At least 6 injured as Tornado hits NW London neighborhood

Some hundred properties in a quarter-square-mile area affected by freak storm as high winds, rain, hail and thunder sweep across southern England.

london tornado 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
london tornado 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
A tornado ripped off part of a wall of a house in northwest London, damaged several nearby homes and injured at least six people Thursday, authorities said. One man was taken to a hospital with a head injury, and five other adults were treated at the scene for minor injuries and shock, London Ambulance Service said. "It came from nowhere: The sky turned dark, hail started falling and then within 10 minutes, it was gone," said local resident Perrin Sledge. "A police officer told me he had a report of the tornado on his radio, turned the corner and saw the wind whip a garbage can into another car. He said it was like a scene from the movie 'Twister,"' Sledge said. London Fire Brigade reported that about a hundred properties were affected in a quarter-square-mile (0.7 square kilometers) area. The freak storm hit just after 11 a.m. (1100GMT) on a day of unsettled weather as high winds, bursts of rain and occasional hail and thunder swept across southern England. The tornado ripped whole sections of roof off some homes, tore tiles from other roofs, uprooted trees and left the street strewn with debris. One car was buried under a pile of fallen bricks, video footage from Sky News showed. "It was like some sort of cyclone," said Tim Klotz, a resident of the Kensal Rise neighborhood in northwest London. "I was actually in an attic room working at my desk on the computer and there was heavy rain and sleet and then the wind just really changed. "I looked up through a skylight and debris was falling through the air. I heard what seemed like large, clay dominoes falling, which I think were roof tiles," Klotz said. "I could see a huge cloud rolling up the street, making this tremendous sound," local resident Daniel Bidgood told British Broadcasting Corp. radio. "I went to try to take a picture of it but a shower of debris smashed all the windows of my house." An average of 33 tornadoes are reported annually in Britain, according to the Tornado and Storm Research Organization. One of the worst to hit Britain destroyed the church of St. Mary le Bow and 600 homes in central London in 1091.