Emergency services rescue eight people trapped in snowfall

Emergency services have rescued eight people who were trapped in heavy snowfall for over 12-hours in Staffordshire.

Since last night (Thursday 9 March), arctic conditions have continued to cause disruption on major roads across the region and have caused a number of vehicles to become stuck – particularly on the A53 and the A523 near Leek.

Specialist rescue teams have been working hard to reach these people who have been stuck inside their vehicles in sub-zero temperatures for considerable amounts of time – some for more than 12 hours.

We can now confirm that a total of eight people in five vehicles have been successfully rescued and brought to safety.

No serious injuries have been reported.

The efforts have seen mountain rescue teams and specialist rescue resources, including our UNIMOG appliance, deployed alongside firefighters from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and colleagues from Staffordshire Police, West Midlands Ambulance Service and the British Army.

Colleagues from the National Police Air Service (NPAS) remain in the area and are continuing to check for any outstanding stranded vehicles. Both the A53 and the A523 remain closed to ensure the safety of the public.

Staffordshire County Council will continue to deploy one of the largest gritters and snow blower teams in the UK across road networks in Staffordshire to improve driving conditions as much as possible.

Chief Fire Officer Rob Barber said: “Specialist rescue teams have worked diligently against the clock to rescue those in need and bring them to safety.

“Although conditions across the region have improved significantly, we are still urging the public to take extra care when driving as freezing temperatures return.

“Much of the snowfall has now melted and excess water is expected to remain on road surfaces for some time, which could eventually turn to ice overnight and cause conditions to diminish once again.

“Journeys should still be planned well in advance and extra care must be taken to ensure we keep ourselves and others safe during this cold weather period.”

More information on how to drive safely in cold conditions can be found here: https://nationalhighways.co.uk/road-safety/travelling-in-severe-weather/travelling-in-winter/ 

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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service

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In an emergency call 999. General enquiries call 0300 330 1000.