As they were enjoying some family time, the Helliwells suddenly heard a “big boom” and rushed to the window to look out at their yard. And when they looked out at the huge crater in their grass, they knew that their lives had been spared. Luckily the giant mass of ice that fell from the sky didn’t land on their house or any member of the family. And it was so massive and loud that the crash shook their house, they said. After the Helliwells realized that the sky wasn’t falling but a mass of ice had simply fallen down – they still were no closer to knowing why and from where it had come. And now they’re demanding answers.
The chunk of ice left a crater 4ft 7in by 3ft 11in in their yard. And the crash was so big, it shattered on impact and spewed ice pieces in all directions. If someone had been close by, they could have been crushed to sprayed with ice shrapnel. And they might not have survived. Fortunately, the Helliwells were inside and weren’t hurt.
41-year-old Lyndsey Helliwell was home with her husband Ross, 51, and her daughters, 9-year-old Elise and 13-year-old Nuala. She was grateful that no one was outside in their yard at their home in Busby, Renfrewshire in the United Kingdom.
The block of ice shook their world on Tuesday morning.
Lyndsey was horrified that the ice had fallen from the sky.
“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.”
After Eleanor Stephen, 41, who is a family friend and who works at the Helliwell’s home heard the crash, she couldn’t believe it was just ice.
“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.”
Although some think it was ice falling from a plane, that is a very rare occurrence.
With more than 2.5 million flights over the UK, just 25 ice falls happen every year, the Civil Aviation Authority CAA reported.
Chief executive of the UK Flight Safety Committee, Dai Whittingham, 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.”
Where do you think the ice came from?