This is the shocking moment a driver narrowly avoided death after a two-tonne roof was torn off a church roof by Storm Isha in a ‘freak accident of nature’.
The incident happened around 6pm last night on Westgate Road in the village of Belton, Lincolnshire, near Doncaster.
It came as wind speeds reached up to 60mph in the area as Storm Isha ripped through the UK.
Video shows one-half of a heavy roof from a converted Methodist Chapel – which was estimated to have been between 1.5-two-tonnes – landing on the road just moments after a car drove past.
The car can be seen driving along Westgate Road, Belton, amid Storm Isha
Just moments later, the roof landed in the road where the car had been driving
The roof was estimated to be around two-tonnes in weight and could have been fatal
Then at 9pm, gale-force winds ripped off the roof’s timbers and scaffolding, which landed in a neighbouring garden.
Westgate Road remained closed until early this afternoon for the debris to be cleared and drivers were forced to make a detour.
Owner of the chapel, Darren Johnson, 55, lives in the next village and was converting the former church and trolley bus museum into a private residence for himself.
He said: ‘The waterproof membrane and wood got taken off, just missed a car and went into next door.
‘It is not listed but it has got historical value. It happened about five to six – the first bit – and the second bit about nine o’clock.
‘I got a call not long after it happened. There was nothing that could be done. It was all strapped off right.
‘It was just a freak of nature. It is not good news.’
The building opened as Westgate Primitive Methodist Chapel in 1868 and services were held there until 1965.
It was later used to store trolley buses from Sandtoft Trolley Bus Museum but had been derelict for years and was facing demolition.
Because of the intense winds last night, there were fears the whole building might collapse.
But the centuries-old brickwork weathered the storm and the structure has now been declared safe.
‘It was an old roof and was coming off anyway,’ Mr Johnson added, ‘we were worried the gable end was going to go and the side walls were going to collapse in.
Darren Johnson, 55, (pictured) said he was glad no one was hurt as a result of the incident
The debris can be seen in the neighbouring garden after the high-winds ripped the roof apart
‘I bought it to turn into my house with a couple of local builders.
‘They cannot work on the inside or put a new roof on because it is too wet.
‘It has probably knocked it back a couple of months. They cannot do anything now until it is dry.
‘It just missed a car. We don’t know who was in the car. We think they were just passing through.
‘The only thing that matters is that no one was hurt.’
A woman who lives opposite, said: ‘We did not hear a thing when the membrane came off at 6pm and nearly hit the car.
‘We were sat watching TV about 9pm and heard the bang when the side of the building came off and went into the garden.
‘I said to my husband ‘What an earth was that?’ And he said ‘I will go and look’. He said the roof of the chapel had come off.
‘It was quite traumatic. I would have been nasty if it had hit anyone. I have no idea where the people next door have gone.
‘When we looked out we saw everything in the garden – Scaffolding and the lot.
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‘It has all come down in their garden. They had stopped work for the weekend – then along came the storm.’
Peter Torr, 88, who has lived in the village his whole life, ‘The first I knew something was up was when I saw the blue flashing lights of the fire engine and then loads of police turn up.
‘There is a lot of traffic down this road. There are a lot of factories just down the road on an old airfield.
‘It caused traffic chaos. They were all turning around in my friend’s gateway and nearly knocking the gate posts down.’
Another local said: ‘As far as I am aware there was no physical contact with the vehicle.
‘But if it had happened five seconds earlier there would have been.’
Three men were killed after storm Isha’s 100mph winds in the north of the country left a trail of destruction.
In Scotland, an 84-year-old man was killed after a Hyundai car crashed into a fallen tree on the A905, Beancross Road in Grangemouth at around 11.45pm last night. Police said he was pronounced dead at the scene, while the other occupants of the vehicle were not injured.
Workers used chainsaws to take apart the huge trunks as they tried to remove the enormous tree
Scene of the incident on Highgate Road, Bradford, where a man has died after falling down a manhole near roadworks after barriers were blown over by Storm Isha
In Northern Ireland a man in his 60s has died in a road collision involving two vans and a fallen tree in Limavady, Co Londonderry, on Sunday night, the Police Service of Northern Ireland has said. The man in the second van, a Citroen Berlingo, has been taken to hospital for treatment.
Officers from the Collision Investigation Unit are appealing for witnesses to the collision or anyone who spotted the vehicles on Broad Road prior to the crash, to please get in touch.
In Bradford, one man died by falling into a manhole after its safety barriers were toppled by the strong winds. The victim, who has not been named, is believed to have suffered a fatal head injury after plunging into the exposed hole.
He was discovered shortly after 7.15am this morning – but is thought to have fallen hours earlier, when winds topping 80mph battered the north of England.
Emergency services were called to Highgate Road, Bradford, but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.
It comes as the Met Office warned that a new storm – Jocelyn – is set to strike the country from tomorrow until Wednesday.