UK

UK Weather: Woman Missing After House Collapses In Landslide In Cornwall

22/03/2013 10:53 GMT | Updated 22/05/2013 10:12 BST

Police are investigating whether a woman is trapped inside a house after part of the property collapsed during heavy rainfall overnight.

Devon and Cornwall Police say Susan Norman, who is in her 60s, has not been seen or heard of since 6pm yesterday.

Her house in Looe, Cornwall, was hit by a landslide and floodwater last night.

cornwall landslide

Neighbours heard 'windows popping' at the house as water hit the property

More than dozen people living in the street have been evacuated and accounted for.

But police this morning used a sniffer dog in the search for Ms Norman.

Neighbours said they heard "windows popping" at the three-storey property under the pressure of a torrent of surface water which had been washed down the road behind the building, which is split into three flats.

Devon and Cornwall Police duty inspector Graham Claybourn said: "The property and adjoining properties were evacuated this morning, everybody was accounted for.

"However, one lady has not been accounted for. She lives in the ground flat.

"We're waiting for a geothermal engineer from the council to come down and assess the scene. There was some building work going on (in the area) at the time."

Police and fire crews are waiting for engineers to assess whether or not the building is safe enough for further searches.

A springer spaniel sniffer dog, used by emergency services to detect the scent of humans, was sent to the edge of the property this morning.

Police said thermal imaging cameras used to identify signs of life also proved inconclusive.