O2 Arena roof ripped open by 100mph Storm Eunice winds

O2 Arena roof ripped open by 100mph Storm Eunice winds
The roof of London’s O2 Arena has been damaged by Storm Eunice, with gusts tearing open parts of its roof as strong winds continue to rage through the capital.

The roof of London’s O2 Arena has been damaged by Storm Eunice, with gusts tearing open parts of its roof as strong winds continue to rage through the capital.

The Met Office issued two “red” weather alerts in south Wales and southwest England, and in London and the southeast, meaning the conditions are posing likely threat to life.

Footage emerged on social media showing a huge split in the white roof of the former Millennium Dome.

According to the most recent video shared online, it appears six panels have since been ripped from the iconic building.

One witness, Mala Sharma, told the PA news agency that “more and more parts are getting ripped off” the O2 building, adding: “It’s going to be a safety issue for people around.”

She said the damage “started off with a patch” but then a “chunk” of the dome roof ripped off.

<p>A section was ripped off the roof of the O2</p>

A section was ripped off the roof of the O2

The building on the Greenwich Peninsula in southeast London, which hosts major events including concerts and features restaurants, bars, shops and a cinema, was formerly known at the Millennium Dome.

“Not just a tent. The world’s most popular music and entertainment venue,” the arena is described on its official Twitter account.

The Independent has approached the O2 for comment.

Simply Red, who were set to play arena this weekend but was later postponed due to Covid, described the damage as “tragic”.

<p>Damage to the O2 Arena roof caused by the wind</p>

Damage to the O2 Arena roof caused by the wind

Accompanied by a picture of the tears in the roof, a tweet from the band’s account read: “Looks like the O2 shows wouldn’t have happened anyhow. Tragic. #Eunice.”

It comes as a gust of 122mph hit the Needles on the Isle of Wight -thought to be the strongest ever recorded in England and higher than the the previous record from the Great Storm of 1987.

<p>It was damaged during the red weather warning, which covered London</p>

It was damaged during the red weather warning, which covered London

As reports emerge of roofs being torn from homes, lorries overturning and large trees being uprooted, passengers on London’s Piccadilly line are among those to have been held up by a fallen tree between Cockfosters and Oakwood.

The southeast of England has been hit by widespread rail closures as Southeastern rail announced it was closing all its mainline routes as a result of the storm.

It comes as Network Rail has advised its passengers not to travel as the worst of the storm tears through London.

Network Rail Kent and Sussex has told people not to travel, warning there are no trains running in Kent, many parts of Surrey, Hampshire and further west, and there will be limited service in Sussex and south London.

<p>A sign at North Greenwich underground station reads 'The O2 Arena is currently closed' </p>

A sign at North Greenwich underground station reads ‘The O2 Arena is currently closed’

According to reports, there is disruption on almost all lines with at least 14 trees blocking tracks.

Meanwhile, South Western Railway (SWR) has cancelled all trains until at least 6pm.

A spokesperson said: “Gusts of more than 90mph wind have caused multiple incidents across the SWR network today, with 30 fallen trees already blocking key routes.

“As a result, SWR services have been suspended until at least 18.00 and we strongly urge customers not to travel at this time. We are working hard to restore services, but ask customers to make alternative travel plans if they can.

“Customers should regularly check the ‘Plan my journey’ page on SWR’s website, which will be updated with the latest information every hour.”

“We would like to apologise to our customers for the impact this will have on their journeys, but – as always – our primary concern is the safety and welfare of customers and colleagues out on the network.”

For more weather and travel updates, join us live on our Storm Eunice blog.

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