Mystery ice block falls from sky

A huge block of ice fell from the sky and smashed into a family’s back garden, leaving a large crater and a mystery.

The Helliwell family said they were  fortunate no one was injured or killed when the ice chunk landed with a “big boom” and shook their house.

The impact left a crater measuring 1.4m by 1.2m (4ft 7in by 3ft 11in) in the middle of their lawn with bits of ice scattered across the grass.

There has been no obvious explanation but it is thought the ice may have fallen from an aircraft passing thousands of feet overhead.

Lyndsey Helliwell, 41, who lives with husband Ross, 51, and daughters Elise, nine, and Nuala, 13, said she was relieved no-one was in their garden in Busby, Renfrewshire, when the ice block crashed into the ground on Tuesday morning.

She said: “It’s slightly concerning that it was so close to the house, and Harper our dog is constantly out in the garden because it’s secluded.

“If it had been Saturday or a Sunday the kids could have been out playing football, or my older daughter could have been playing with Harper.

“It’s metres from the house and the car. I’ve spoken to a meteorologist and this sort of thing doesn’t happen often.

“The whole thing was covered in ice and there were huge chunks everywhere.

“It’s just so huge and so solid.”

Family friend Eleanor Stephen, 41, who works at the Helliwells’ home, said: “I was sitting at my desk and heard this big boom.

“I thought it was an explosion and I felt the house shake.

“When I went downstairs the dog was acting strangely. I looked out of the window and saw a hole with white stuff in it. It was splashed all over the grass.

“I went out and touched it. I realised it was ice. If anybody had been out in the garden, it could have killed them.

“We just don’t know where it came from. It’s a complete mystery.”

It is usually assumed that ice falling from the sky is aviation related, but ice falls from aircraft are considered to be relatively rare.

In comparison to the 2.5 million flights a year in UK airspace, approximately 25 ice falls per year are reported to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Dai Whittingham, chief executive of the UK Flight Safety Committee, said: “It is possible that the ice may have fallen from an aircraft but it is quite unusual for this amount of ice to occur.

“Ice can form where moisture has collected at lower altitudes but at high altitudes this moisture is already in the form of ice crystals so it does not collect significantly on the aircraft.

“If the ice had come from a leak in the aircraft’s water system you would expect to see it discoloured because all water and toilet effluent drains into collector tanks and is discharged on the ground through special outflow valves.”

 

Source: The mirror UK

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