Monday, June 11, 2007

"Giant Ice Cube Plummeted From The Sky"

Ice Chunk Falling
By Liz Fowler
The Courier

     AN ANGUS couple are recovering from shock after a giant ice cube plummeted from the sky at hundreds of miles an hour and smashed into their roof.

James and Flora Fleming were relaxing in the lounge of their home, The Gables at Barnhead, on the outskirts of Montrose yesterday when the ice meteor hit.

They dashed outside to find five slates broken on the roof and the ice block lying shattered on their lawn.

“It was around 1.30pm and we were sitting watching TV when there was a terrific bang like goodness knows what,” Mrs Fleming said.

“At first I thought it might have been a crow hitting the window, but it was far too loud for that.

“There was white stuff lying all over the lawn. At first I thought it was bits of paper. I could hardly believe it when my husband said it was ice. Then we looked up at the roof and saw the slates damaged.

“It was very frightening. The block would have been about one foot square in size before it broke up.

“It had landed right beside my whirly washing line. I dread to think what might have happened if I had been standing there. I could have been killed.”

Unless some freak climactic phenomenon, the couple believed the ice must have fallen from an aircraft.

“Where else could it have come from?” Mrs Fleming said.

“But we have saved a few pieces in the freezer in case anybody wants to have a closer look.”

A spokesman for the Met Office agreed ice cracking off an aircraft was the most likely explanation.

He said, “There have been instances in the past when things like this have happened.

“An aircraft flying through cloud will pick up moisture which can then freeze. As it descends it can de-ice and in this instance a block has dropped off.

“I have heard of this happen maybe 15 or 20 times.

“An ice meteor, as they are called, can be significantly larger than one square foot.

“But even at that size if it had hit anybody they wouldn’t be around to tell the tale, I can tell you that.”

Experts reckon a 5kg block falling from a plane at around 1000 feet would plummet to earth at a speed of around 250mph.

No one was available for comment from the Civil Aviation Authority.

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