09:00AM, Thursday 16 February 2017
A business owner from Oakley Green has been left feeling lucky to be alive after a block of ice fell from the sky and smashed a hole into the roof of his house.
Wahram Manoukian, 69, left his home at 7am on Friday morning to use the gym at Oakley Court in Windsor Road, but returned at about 8.30am to find a hole in his roof with tiles and bits of ice strewn around his grounds.
Mr Manoukian, who lives in Oakley Green Road, and his wife, 66-year-old Beverley, have stored the chunks of ice in a freezer in anticipation of an investigation.
He believed it could have fallen from a plane, though this has not been confirmed.
Mr Manoukian, who works in the property industry, said he worried about what could have happened if it had fallen when he had been leaving the house an hour earlier.
“I could have been killed," he said. “It could have been anyone.
“It must have been a big chunk that has hit the roof.”
He was concerned that, if it had fallen at a different time, his grandchildren could have been harmed.
“They come around after school and during the weekends they come around to us,” he said. “I was fuming.”
Builders secured the property before the weekend and repairs were set to begin this week.
Mr Manoukian has contacted the Civil Aviation Authority, which says ice can form on aeroplanes at high altitudes and fall off when it descends to a warmer height, but is ‘relatively rare’.
A spokesman for the CAA directed the Advertiser to its website, which states: “As the safety regulator for UK civil aviation, the CAA requires UK aircraft operators to minimise the risk of ice falls by performing regular maintenance to prevent leaks and take prompt corrective action if a defect is found.
“The CAA is unable to investigate the potential origin of an ice fall, but does record reports of this nature.
“Falling ice which is clear and uncontaminated may not have originated from aviation activity.
“Indeed there have been reports of falling chunks of ice which date back to before the existence of aircraft.
“Research into the phenomena is ongoing by scientists across the world but is controversial.”
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