Sunday 26 October 2014

Tributes paid after landslip death

Published 23/03/2013 | 12:36

The ''Veronica' flats on Sandplace Road, East Looe, Cornwall, collapsed following torrential rain

Tributes have been paid to a woman who died when her house collapsed during a landslip.

The body of the woman, named locally as Susan Norman, was discovered after rescue teams spent hours sifting through the wreckage of her home in Looe, Cornwall, with specialist search dogs.

As an investigation into the landslide continues, community leaders and friends of Ms Norman said they were shocked and stunned by what had happened.

Armand Toms, councillor for East Looe, said: "We had people phoning here, there and everywhere trying to find out if she was staying with friends. Everyone is very sad by the loss."

The building where Ms Norman lived collapsed just before 6am on Friday following torrential rain. Specialist investigators from Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service were sent to the scene at the Veronica flats.

However, the search operation had to be halted temporarily when engineers were later called in to make the area safe.

About 12 hours after the alarm was raised, fire officials announced they had found a body.

David Holford, from Looe, described Ms Norman as well-liked and respected. "She was a great friend of a lot of people. She was my wife's best friend and has been for several years.

"It happened so quickly that nobody seems to be able to take it in fully. Everybody we've spoken to is so very upset."

Friend Edwina Hannaford added: "Susan was well-known in the town and was an active volunteer. She was a very happy lady, very friendly and smiley, and would always say hello. This tragedy has hurt the community. But the fact that so many people have been offering to help in any way they can is testament to the spirit here."

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