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UPDATE: Bus stop smashed to the ground by 'Hainault tornado'

PUBLISHED: 14:37 03 January 2012 | UPDATED: 17:42 03 January 2012

A bus stop has been smashed to the ground by the winds

A bus stop has been smashed to the ground by the winds

Archant

Residents were left afraid for their lives when a tornado reportedly ripped through Hainault this afternoon.

More than 20 houses were badly affected after the freak winds lifted roof tiles which then smashed into cars just after 12.30pm.

Remarkably nobody was hurt during the terrifying ordeal, which lasted three minutes.

Maureen Durieu, of Fawn Road, said: “It was absolutely terrifying.

“First it was the sound of the rain and then the wind. Then you could hear the tiles coming off and just smashing into walls and cars.

“We knew it had to be a tornado. We were scared for our lives.”

More than 20 firefighters were called to the scene and are currently making the area safe.

Station manager Ronnie Bates told the Recorder: “About 20 houses across the roads were damaged by freak strong winds.

“We’re now checking residents are OK and making the area safe. Then we will hand over to the police and housing teams.”

A bus stop in Manford Way has also been blown over, with Redbridge Council made aware of the damage.

Have you been affected by the strong winds, or have any pictures of the damage? Email newsdesk@ilfordrecorder.co.uk or call 020 8477 3800.

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