Ice ball crashes through conservatory roof

LETTER OF THE DAY: Underlying the housing crisis is the rocketing price of building land

Have your say

A LUMP of ice the size of a bowling ball has smashed through the roof of a home.

Jeff Scriven was working at his Clanfield home when he heard an almighty crash and found the huge ball shattered on his conservatory floor.

Jeff Scriven (56) in his conservatory, with some of the left over ice that fell through his conservatory.''Picture: Sarah Standing (13341-6263)

Jeff Scriven (56) in his conservatory, with some of the left over ice that fell through his conservatory.''Picture: Sarah Standing (13341-6263)

The 56-year-old IT manager believes it fell from a plane as it flew overhead, at 9.45am last Friday.

And the father-two said it could have been disastrous if someone had been standing in the room when it happened.

‘It’s just lucky no-one was in there at the time,’ said Mr Scriven. ‘There was an almighty bang and I could not comprehend at first what it was.

‘There was glass everywhere. It had shattered a 6ft by 2.5ft double glazed panel in the roof. The hardwood bamboo floor has also been damaged and the central support which holds it all up.

‘It’s clearly an ice ball – it was the size of a bowling ball and I believe it came from a plane. I couldn’t imagine where else it could have come from. We get a lot of planes overhead but we don’t normally hear them, just see them.‘

Experts believe the chunks of ice are frozen rainwater or toilet waste which fall from planes as they fly over.

Mr Scriven, of Farm View Avenue, Clanfield, has already received a letter from the CAA explaining that although the incident had been logged it was unlikely the responsible airline will ever be identified.

The damage is estimated at several thousand pounds and Mr Scriven will be out of pocket with a £50 insurance excess and will lose his no claims bonus.

In a statement, the CAA said although there are millions of flights each year there are only 25 reports of ice falls and victims should call their insurers.

It added: ‘Because of the high number of flights in our airspace, it’s sometimes difficult to identify the exact source of an icefall, although the CAA does record reports of incidents and may investigate depending on the circumstances.’

It’s not the first time an ice ball has hit a house in the area. There was a spate of incidents in 2004 and 2005 where large balls of ice tore through homes in the Waterlooville area causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

Although homeowners tried to pursue the matter the actual airlines responsible were never traced.

Mary Campbell’s house was badly damaged in 2004 when an ice ball tore through her home in Chaffinch Green, Wecock. What followed was a long campaign against the Civil Aviation Authority and the plane companies to admit liability – which they didn’t.