UPDATED: Horses evacuated after stables battered by torrential weather
A FREAK storm ripped through a farm — destroying stables and injuring horses.
Staff at Seddon Fold Farm in Lock Lane, Hunger Hill, were left stunned as the strong winds lifted roofs off buildings and blew walls over.
The 15 horses were trapped in stables for nearly three hours as their owners and the farm’s staff worked through the night to move rubble and wreckage.
Farm owner, Stan Terry, discovered the damage at about 11.30pm on Wednesday.
The winds on Wednesday evening were so strong that large barn doors were dragged from their frames and pieces of corrugated roofing were blown about a quarter of a mile into neighbouring fields.
One white thoroughbred horse, called Ben, had to have stitches to its nose and head, while another horse suffered an eye injury.
The entire stable, with 15 half-tonne horses inside, was lifted and moved about two feet Mr Terry said: “I have been here nearly 30 years and we have never had any damage from weather.
“I can only think this was some sort of localised weather event, as the damage is devastating and some of the stuff has been flung hundreds of yards.
“My stables have been completely demolished and we need to put up some sort of temporary structure.
“Some of the stuff damaged was insured but some wasn’t.”
Ben’s owner, Patricia Roberts, said she was very relieved the horses were still alive.
She added: “It was distressing seeing them trapped like that and it took us a long while to get them safely out.
“My horses have been here for about 27 years now and nothing even remotely like this has ever happened.”
Another owner of a horse at Seddon Fold, who did not want to be named, said: “We were called at about 1.45am and a lot of us worked through the night.
“The horses are in the fields now but we need to do our best to restore the stables as best we can.
“The vet said it’s a miracle none of the horses were more badly hurt and looking at how the roofs have fallen in, I’m certainly glad I wasn’t about at the time.”
Another owner, who also asked to remain anonymous, said she was at her nearby home when the storm struck, and the winds were so fierce her front room “vibrated”.
A spokesman for the Met Office said: “Wednesday night saw several areas in the country experience very stormy conditions with strong winds and heavy rain.
“The winds peaked at about 8pm which correlates with the incident in Bolton, although at our nearest wind observation point at Blackpool Airport the strongest gusts recorded measured at 51 miles per hour, which we would not think would cause this kind of damage.
“There could well have been stronger localised gusts of wind experienced in the Bolton area.”
About 7,000 homes in Northern Ireland lost power, with 6,000 having their supply restored by late on Wednesday.
Electricity North West said 3,500 properties in Cumbria and Lancashire were without power due to strong winds and debris bringing lines down.
And Stoke City's home tie against Manchester United in the League Cup had to be temporarily suspended due to heavy rain and hailstones.
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