Woman dies as Storm Doris causes damage and travel disruption

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A woman has been killed after being struck by flying debris and a girl was left with life-threatening injuries as Storm Doris brought winds of up to 94mph to the UK.

The girl, who was among multiple people seriously injured, was taken to hospital after a school sports hall ceiling collapsed as gales battered Britain.

Doris is now set to leave trail of ice, wintry showers and a 7C plunge in temperatures to around 3C (37F) in the South.

The 29-year-old woman died after suffering head injuries when she was struck by "wooden debris" while walking past a Starbucks cafe in Wolverhampton city centre.

The coffee giant has said it is "shocked and saddened by the terrible incident", which happened at around midday.

Rebecca Davis, a 40-year-old teacher from the city, said she saw a piece of debris as "about the size of a coffee table" fly through the air.

West Midlands Police are working with Wolverhampton Council to establish what happened.

"The lady's family have been informed and are being supported at this tragic time," a force spokeswoman added.

Two other people were also left with head injuries.

A man was left in a "serious condition" in a central London hospital, following reports of "debris falling from the roof of a building" by Victoria Station at around 3pm, the Metropolitan Police said.

In Stoke-on-Trent a woman in her 60s was taken to hospital for a "serious head injury" after being hit by a carport roof.

West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) said it was called to a property in Hartshill Road shortly before 2.15pm.

A spokesman said: "Crews were told the roof fell down and hit the woman, which subsequently caused her to collide with a wall."

WMAS said she was also treated for injuries to her face, hand and chest before being taken to Royal Stoke University Hospital for further care.

Meanwhile, Thames Valley Police and Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service were investigating whether the collapse at Southwood Middle School in Conniburrow, Milton Keynes, was due to the storm.

The top wind speed of 94mph was recorded in Capel Curig, north Wales, on Thursday morning.

The weather system which brought gales, snow and rain to much of the UK, caused travel disruption on the roads and rail network, brought down trees, grounded planes, and toppled large vehicles.

Network Rail advised "Storm Doris has caused significant disruption throughout the country", with an enforced speed limit on some lines.

With fallen trees, objects caught in overhead wires, flooding and debris on the tracks causing delays across many services, a spokesman said employees are "doing all we can to keep the network running".

Flights were also affected, with a Heathrow spokesman warning of a "10% reduction" in the airport's schedule.

Highways England also issued a weather alert on major roads.

A number of carriageways were closed as Doris lashed Britain, including the M6 Thelwall Viaduct in both directions between junctions 20 and 21 in the North West and the QE2 Bridge in Dartford, Kent.

In Scotland snowfall saw the M80 closed in both directions, as well as schools shut and some ferry services cancelled.

In Ireland almost 46,000 households woke up to no electricity after violent gusts battered large swathes of the country throughout the night.

As Doris cleared to the East, the Met Office warned drivers to be wary of ice on Friday in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and North West England.

"It's an ice risk so when people wake up tomorrow morning and head out to work there could be some difficult driving conditions," meteorologist Alex Burkill said.