UK weather: Storm Franklin to hit as hundreds of flooding alerts and amber wind warning issued

Sun, 20 February 2022, 2:54 am

Storm Franklin is set to hit the UK, with an amber weather warning issued for Northern Ireland and hundreds of alerts for flooding across the country.

The amber warning runs from midnight until 7am on Monday, with warnings also in place for counties on the Republic of Ireland’s west coast. Gusts of up to 80mph are expected.

The flooding alerts issued by environment agencies include two “severe” warnings where rainfall could cause a “danger to life” in Didsbury and Northenden in Greater Manchester.

The Environment Agency said flooding was “likely” in 88 areas mainly in the north and west of England, while it is “possible” in another 137 areas in the north-western half of the UK, London and the south coast.

Some 23 flood warnings and seven alerts are in place across the Scottish Borders, Ayrshire, Orkney and the Western Isles, according to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

Most of Wales is covered by 18 flood warnings and 35 alerts issued by Natural Resources Wales.

There will be heavy rain on Sunday and Monday, the Met Office said, adding that “flying debris” could put people’s lives in danger.

Franklin will bring “gale force westerly winds with severe and damaging gusts”, Met Eireann said, “combined with very high seas”.

There are two more Met Office weather warnings in place:

• A yellow warning for rain covering Cumbria, Lancashire, and West Yorkshire until 6pm on Sunday, with a chance of flooding and difficult driving conditions

• A yellow warning for wind across most of England and Wales from midday on Sunday until 1pm on Monday, with damage and disruption possible

This is the first time the Met Office has had three named storms within a week since the current system was introduced, meteorologist Becky Mitchell said.

“We had Dudley on Wednesday, Eunice on Friday and Franklin today,” she pointed out.

The reason for the sequence is because “we’ve got a really active jet stream, which is why we’re seeing so many storms track right towards the UK”, Ms Mitchell added.

The damage from Franklin is not expected to be “as severe” as that caused by Eunice because the strongest winds will be confined to the coast, Ms Mitchell said.

But conditions could still be “treacherous” and up to 80mm of rain may fall in northwest England.

Katharine Smith, flood duty manager at the Environment Agency, said: “We are urging people to remain vigilant and take extreme care following the impacts of Storm Eunice, and with a further storm, Franklin, on the way.

“Heavy rain, affecting already wet areas, is likely to cause significant river flooding in parts of the north of England today and tomorrow.”

Ms Smith added that teams were on the ground taking “preventative action” with the Environment Agency saying their defences have protected more than 18,000 properties from flooding in recent days.

“We advise people to stay away from swollen rivers and not to drive through flood water as just 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car,” she added.

Thousands still affected by power cuts from Storm Eunice

Franklin’s arrival comes just days after widespread damage caused by Storm Eunice.

Power companies have revealed that a record 1.4 million homes were affected by cuts on Friday during the worst of Eunice.

The Energy Networks Association (ENA) said 77,000 people were still without power on Sunday afternoon.

Ross Easton, from the ENA, said 8,000 engineers are working to reconnect customers but many homes will still be without power during the week.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks said it was making “good progress reconnecting customers”.

As of 11am on Sunday, it said it had restored power to more than 164,000 homes, with 18,000 still awaiting reconnection.

Network operators can be contacted free on 105 in England, Scotland and Wales, while the number in Northern Ireland is 03457 643 643.

Western Power Distribution said the South West saw the most widespread power cut ever recorded.

The company said power had been restored to nearly 461,000 of its customers, and work was continuing to restore supply to the remaining 60,000.

The storm saw a provisional record wind gust of 122mph at The Needles on the Isle of Wight on Friday, and at least four people were killed in the UK and Ireland.

Sunday could see gales of up to 70mph in parts of England – the same speed recorded at Heathrow on Friday as thousands of people tuned in to YouTube channel Big Jet TV to see planes trying to land.

Speaking on Saturday, Met Office meteorologist Greg Dewhurst said: “We will see a slight easing in the wind over the evening time tonight, but it’s not long before they pick up again tomorrow to lead to another windy day across the UK.

“This will have an impact on the clearing up process over the course of the day.”

Some rail services had to cancel services on Sunday due to the damage wrought by Storm Eunice – and the Met Office warned that the UK could see more travel disruption on Monday.

Roman Kemp and other famous faces turn make-up artist for charity

Connie Evans, PA Entertainment Reporter

Sun, 20 February 2022, 4:24 pm

Lady Leshurr and Roman Kemp are among the celebrities who will take on the challenge of becoming make-up artists for Comic Relief next month.

A one off episode of BBC Three’s Glow Up – Glow Up Does Red Nose Day – will see a group of celebrities set a real world industry assignment where they will be asked to create the make-up looks for a Red Nose Day runway show.

Joining musician Leshurr and radio presenter Kemp will also be YouTuber Nikki Lilly, DJ Snoochie Shy and Drag Race UK star The Vivienne in the upcoming episode, which will air on BBC Three in March.

Speaking about his experience on the show, Capital Breakfast’s Kemp said: “My make-up skills are limited but you’ll see what I lack in experience, I make up for in enthusiasm. Glow Up was educational – I now know that apparently you can’t put lip paint on your eyes.

“We had a great time too, I met some lovely people and hopefully we’ll raise lots of money for Red Nose Day.”

Regular Glow Up host Maya Jama will return for the special, joined by renowned makeup artists and Glow Up judges Val Garland and Dominic Skinner, who will oversee the task.

For the Comic Relief special, fashion designer Dame Zandra Rhodes will also feature as a guest judge, and celebrity photographer Rankin will join to shoot the celebrity makeup looks.

“This experience has been like no other and I can’t do my own makeup to save my life, so I’m looking forward to seeing how tragic my makeup skills look in front of millions,” said rapper Leshurr.

The celebrity’s runway makeup looks will be showcased on an array of recognisable models, specially selected by British model Leomie Anderson.

The models include Drag Race UK’s A’Whora, YouTuber and Content Creator Nella Rose and models Kenza Boutrif, Eva Apio and Anderson herself.

The Vivienne, winner of RuPaul's Drag Race series one
The Vivienne, winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race series one, is among the celebrities taking part in Glow Up Does Red Nose Day (Ian West/PA).

Money raised by Glow Up Does Red Nose Day will support work in the UK and around the world, including tackling homelessness, domestic abuse, poverty and mental health problems, all of which have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Vivienne, winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Series 1, said: “This was the most fabulous experience. I’m such a huge fan of this show, so to take part was a dream come true. More importantly we got to raise money for charity. It was a brilliant experience and I met some amazing people.”

Each of the celebrity makeup artists will be given the same treatment as the competing makeup artists in the full series.

Series Four of Glow Up will follow the Red Nose Day special, with the full series arriving on BBC Three later in the Spring.

Fatima Ribeiro, executive director of fundraising and creative at Comic Relief, said: “We’re so excited to be working with Glow Up on this special episode. During the Red Nose Day runway, viewers will catch a glimpse of this year’s limited-edition Red Nose Day T-shirt collection, worn by the superstar models on the runway.

“The gorgeous collection features 11 designers from different backgrounds and is available now in TK Maxx stores, tkmaxx.com and shop.comicrelief.com.”

Comic Relief and Red Nose Day return on March 18.

O2 arena to remain closed until Friday after Storm Eunice shreds roof


Luke O’Reilly, PA

Sun, 20 February 2022, 3:27 pm

The O2 arena will remain closed until Friday after part of the London venue’s roof was ripped off by Storm Eunice.

The venue’s white roof covering is undergoing repairs after parts of it were torn away from supporting ribs by high winds during the storm on Friday.

In a statement, the arena said it was “not quite looking our best” after the storm.

It added that a number of upcoming concerts would be rescheduled, with UB40 rescheduled to February 25, Simply Red to March 2 and 3, The Lumineers to March 4, and Davido to March 5.

While new dates for rapper Dave’s postponed concerts will be announced within the next 48 hours.

Brit Awards 2020 – Press Room – London
Dave with the Brit Award for Best British Album (Ian West/PA)

Events at The O2’s smaller venue, The Indigo, are also expected to resume after February 25.

“The O2 prides itself on being a venue full of entertainment but following Friday’s storm, we’re not quite looking our best,” a statement from the venue said.

“We want to continue to provide a safe and secure best-in-class experience for our visitors, so we have made the decision to remain closed until Friday February 25 to give us time to carry out some necessary works on our roof.”

Dave’s gigs were supposed to take place on Monday and Tuesday of next week, but will now take place on an as yet unconfirmed date in the future.

The O2 has said that all tickets will remain valid for the new dates.

In a statement provided by The O2 on Saturday, Dave said he will be “back with a plan” by the end of Monday.

The O2 Arena in London after parts of its roof were ripped off in high winds
The O2 Arena in London after parts of its roof were ripped off in high winds (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

“Devastating news, The O2 have told us Monday and Tuesday’s shows can’t happen due to what the storm did to the roof of the venue,” he said.

“We are doing everything we can to reschedule the shows to play as soon as humanly possible.

“Right now we do not know when The O2 arena will be open again for events but they’ve told us it shouldn’t be too long.

“We await information from the venue.

“I’ll be back with a plan as soon as I have it.

“By the end of Monday I hope.”

The O2 has the second highest capacity of any indoor venue in the UK, surpassed only by the Manchester Arena.

It was originally built as the Millennium Dome, and used to house an exhibition celebrating the turn of the new millennium.

A Colorado plastic surgeon was charged with negligent homicide after a teen patient went into a coma then died from a breast augmentation surgery

Police car lights
Lights on a police car.Oliver Helbig/Getty Images
  • A Colorado plastic surgeon was charged following the death of a teen patient
  • Dr. Geoffrey Kim, 52, was charged with aggravated assault and criminally negligent homicide.
  • The patient “went into cardiac arrest after being administered anesthesia” during breast augmentation procedure.

A Colorado plastic surgeon is facing charges stemming from the death of an 18-year-old patient following a breast augmentation procedure in 2019.

According to Arapahoe County Sherriff’s Office, 52-year-old Dr. Geoffrey Kim turned himself in on Wednesday and was charged with criminally negligent homicide and first-degree aggravated assault. The surgeon was booked and bonded out the same day.

In addition, nurse anesthetist, Rex Meeker, was charged with manslaughter. The criminal charges come after authorities conducted an investigation for more than two years, officials said.

“Our hope is that this will be the beginning of bringing justice and a sense of closure to Emmalyn’s family,” Arapahoe County Sherriff’s Office Captain of Investigations, Travis Stewart said in a statement.

In August 2019 the teen, identified as Emmalyn Nguyen, went to Colorado Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery for the procedure, according to officials, and “went into cardiac arrest after being administered anesthesia.” Nguyen was in a coma and suffered brain damage before she died 14 months later, according to KCNC-TV.

As NBC News reported Nguyen’s family filed a lawsuit in 2019 claiming that she was “unobserved” by Kim and Meeker for 15 minutes after being placed under anesthesia. Per the outlet citing the lawsuit, her skin turned blue and Nguyen went into cardiac arrest.

The lawsuit said that first responders were not called to take Nguyen to the hospital until five hours later, according to the report.

Nguyen’s family released a statement through their lawyer, saying that they’re ” glad we are finally getting justice for Emmalyn,” KCNC-TV reported.

The statement continued: “Even though it will never bring our daughter back, at least this will help others from getting hurt and prevent ruining other families’ lives. We still haven’t been able to get closure from Emmalyn’s death. Hopefully bringing criminal charges will bring out the truth about what happened and will bring justice for Emmalyn,” according to the news station.

Read the original article on Insider

Victoria and David Beckham Celebrate Youngest Son Cruz’s 17th Birthday: ‘We Love You So Much’

Victoria and David Beckham Celebrate Youngest Son, Cruz's 17th Birthday: 'We Love U So Much'
Victoria and David Beckham Celebrate Youngest Son, Cruz’s 17th Birthday: ‘We Love U So Much’

Victoria Beckham/Instagram; Inset: Darren Gerrish/WireImage

Victoria and David Beckham are such proud parents!

The famous couple celebrated their youngest son Cruz David‘s 17th birthday on Sunday, showering their child with all the love in the world.

The former Spice Girls member, 47, shared a picture of Cruz posing playfully for the camera in a suit and trendy sunglasses. Victoria wrote in the caption, “Happy birthday Cruzie!! We love u so much!!!! So many kisses!! @cruzbeckham ❤️.”

Cruz Beckham and mother Victoria Beckham attend an event celebrating Reebok and Victoria Beckham celebrate their partnership. Special guest Shaquille O'Neal officially welcomes Victoria to the Reebok Team at The House on Sunset on April 12, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California.
Cruz Beckham and mother Victoria Beckham attend an event celebrating Reebok and Victoria Beckham celebrate their partnership. Special guest Shaquille O’Neal officially welcomes Victoria to the Reebok Team at The House on Sunset on April 12, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California.

Donato Sardella/Getty

She also posted a video from the birthday celebration on her Instagram Story, featuring Cruz surrounded by his friends and family. He was presented with a huge Billie Eilish-themed cake while his loved ones belted out the classic birthday tune.

Cruz looked swanky in the clip as he sported a pink hoodie and a collection of dazzling rings.

A sweet message on the cake read, “Dear Cruz, we love you so much. Happy birthday from Mum, Dad, Brooklyn, Romeo and Harper xxx.”

Meanwhile, David shared a throwback video of their son showing off his talent as he played guitar and sang “Love Yourself” by Justin Bieber.

Cruz Beckham and his father David Beckham, former England footballer pose for a photograph prior to the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Final between Italy and England at Wembley Stadium on July 11, 2021 in London, England.
Cruz Beckham and his father David Beckham, former England footballer pose for a photograph prior to the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Final between Italy and England at Wembley Stadium on July 11, 2021 in London, England.

Eamonn McCormack/UEFA via Getty

The soccer legend captioned the post, “Happy Birthday big boy x we love you and that cheeky personality ❤️ keep being you ❤️ love you Cruzie @cruzbeckham @victoriabeckham @romeobeckham @brooklynbeckham #HarperSeven ❤️.”

David continued to display love for his son on his Instagram Story, posting a series of sweet and funny throwback photos of Cruz, alongside a message that read “Love you big boy.”

The Beckham family appeared to have always had a close bond. Last December, Victoria shared an adorable video of Brooklyn, 22, dancing with his sister Harper, 10, as the family celebrated Christmas together.

Victoria and David Beckham Celebrate Youngest Son, Cruz's 17th Birthday: 'We Love U So Much'
Victoria and David Beckham Celebrate Youngest Son, Cruz’s 17th Birthday: ‘We Love U So Much’

Victoria Beckham/Instagram

The fashion designer wrote in the caption, “Someone loves dancing with their big brother. Love you.”

Two days earlier, she also posted a photo of her family, including 19-year-old son Romeo James, dressed to the nines. “Christmas kisses from the Beckhams!” the mother of four captioned the gorgeous family photo.

Maura Higgins says body-shaming trolls say she’s too skinny and should get a boob job

Tom Beasley

Tom Beasley

·Contributor

Sun, 20 February 2022, 10:35 am

Maura Higgins says she won't listen to body-shaming trolls who target her for being 'too skinny'. (Mike Marsland/WireImage)
Maura Higgins says she won’t listen to body-shaming trolls who target her for being ‘too skinny’. (Mike Marsland/WireImage)

Love Island contestant Maura Higgins has revealed her struggles with body-shaming trolls, who criticise her for being too skinny and try to encourage her to get a boob job.

The reality star told The Sun that advice from her mother keeps her calm in the face of vile comments about her appearance.

“I get it all the time. I get it so much. People writing ‘go and get a boob job’ or ‘you’re too skinny’,” she said.

Higgins added: “I’ve always spoken to my mammy about it and asked: ‘Why is it OK for people to turn around to your face and say: ‘God, you’re too skinny’? Would you ever say to somebody: ‘God, you’re too fat’? No, you wouldn’t.”

The 31-year-old shot to fame in 2019 when she entered the Love Island villa and became a fan favourite with her outrageous comments.

She coupled up with professional dancer Curtis Pritchard and finished in fourth place on the show, subsequently competing on Dancing On Ice in 2020.

While body-shaming has been an unfortunate part of her life since she entered the public eye, she isn’t interested in changing herself.

“I don’t need a boob job, because I feel sexy with the size of my boobs. I’m not going to get one to suit what some random person tells me,” said Higgins.

Maura Higgins rose to fame with her no-nonsense appearance on 'Love Island' in 2019. (ITV)
Maura Higgins rose to fame with her no-nonsense appearance on ‘Love Island’ in 2019. (ITV)

She added: “If it’s going to help somebody else feel more confident [to have surgery], then work away. I would be petrified of the boob surgery anyway. I watch that TV show Botched all the time, which puts me off.”

Higgins also revealed she hasn’t had lip fillers in two years and now believes that “confidence comes from within”.

Responding to rumours she could take over as the host of Love Island from Laura Whitmore, Higgins said she’s “had some exciting TV conversations” but would have to tone down her straight-talking persona.

She added: “It’s thanks to Love Island that I am where I am today. But if people ask me questions about Love Island on a night out, I don’t want to talk about it because it’s so long ago now. I’ve come so far.”

Dr Alex George posts heartfelt tribute message to late brother Llŷr on his birthday

Tom Beasley

·Contributor

Sun, 20 February 2022, 2:04 pm·2-min read

Dr Alex George paid tribute to his brother, who passed away in 2020, on Instagram. (Karwai Tang/WireImage)
Dr Alex George paid tribute to his brother, who passed away in 2020, on Instagram. (Karwai Tang/WireImage)

Dr Alex George offered a loving and emotional tribute to his “kind, sensitive, funny” brother Llŷr on what would have been his 21st birthday.

The reality TV star shared a video featuring family memories of Llŷr, who took his own life in July 2020 at the age of just 19.

Former Love Island contestant Alex said he wanted to “talk more about the person [Llŷr] was”, having spoken openly about his passing over the course of the last year or so.

“Llŷr was kind, sensitive, funny, loved his cars, and was a great brother and son. He was exceptionally clever and a great sportsman, ” Dr George wrote.

He added: “Above all Llŷr had a good heart, he had an ability to look into your eyes and could feel exactly what you were feeling.

“In many ways he felt your pain and your struggles deeply and always wanted to help. He was an empath like no one I have ever known.

“I would do anything to be sat drinking a cold beer with you today for your 21st my boy. You will never be forgotten and you give me so much strength.”

Dr George is now a government ambassador for mental health and speaks regularly to encourage young people — particularly men — to be more open about their feelings.

Dr Alex George now speaks as a mental health advocate, specifically around young men. (Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for Global Citizen)
Dr Alex George now speaks as a mental health advocate, specifically around young men. (Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for Global Citizen)

The star said in a previous interview that he and his family felt they “didn’t have the chance to help” Llŷr because he never spoke about the things with which he was struggling.

“I think it’s very important to look out for change and behaviour in family members and friends who might be acting differently,” said Dr Alex on Lorraine.

He added: “If there’s anything you’re worried about and to ask them how they’re doing.

“But we also need people to know that when they are struggling they can talk about it, and what I find very hard is that I don’t think Llŷr felt that he could say it. It was there and I worry that shame was a big part of that.”

Body of woman, 61, found in flat after neighbours complained of bad smell for two years

Ellen Manning

Sun, 20 February 2022, 5:01 pm

Body found
The body of a 61-year-old woman was found in a flat in Peckham after neighbours had reportedly complained of a smell coming from it. (SWNS)

The body of a 61-year-old woman has been found in a London flat, after neighbours reportedly complained of a bad smell for over two years.

Police confirmed that officers called to the flat in Peckham, south London, on Friday, 18 February discovered the woman’s body inside.

Her death is being treated as unexplained but not suspicious, the Met Police said.

According to locals, neighbours had been complaining to the housing association landlord of the three-storey complex about a “foul smell” in the building since October 2019.

Neighbours reportedly became concerned as the woman's post started to pile up. (SWNS)
Neighbours reportedly became concerned as the woman’s post started to pile up. (SWNS)

A young woman who lives next door said: “It’s a small three storey complex. I didn’t know her very well, but she would sometime collect my deliveries for me.

“I came back from a trip abroad in September or October 2019 when I noticed a horrific stench in the building.

“It was so bad, I had to put a towel under the door.”

Read more: Police officers hide in buses to catch drivers using their phones

She said in 2020 a forced entry notice for a routine gas check appeared on the woman’s door and neighbours became increasingly concerned as her post started to pile up.

“We repeatedly called the housing association because it was weird – her letter box full and I could see from the letters she hadn’t been paying rent,” she added.

“I called them up again and said I hadn’t seen this lady in months.”

An ambulance parked outside the building.  The body of a skeleton has been found in a London flat - after reports of a bad smell for over two YEARS, neighbours said today (Sun).  See SWNS story SWSYbody.  Police have confirmed the body of a 61-year-old were discovered in Peckham on Friday.  Locals say the victim owed thousands of pounds in rent and her letter box was overflowing.  Neighbours say they began complaining to the housing association landlord about a 'foul smell'' in the building in October 2019.  But it wasn't until earlier this week that officers finally forced the door and found the woman had died. A young woman who lives next door said:
Neighbours say they began complaining to the housing association landlord about a ‘foul smell’ in the building in October 2019. (SWNS)

She said police did come to the flat but there was speculation that the woman may have been one of the many people who moved out of London during the COVID pandemic.

Officers are believed to have attended the property several times until they forced their way in on the most recent visit on Friday.

The neighbour said a complaint about the smell had prompted the latest visit and said officers told her that when they broke into the flat they found what was essentially a skeleton.

A Met Police spokesperson said: “At 19:01hrs on Friday, 18 February police were called to a flat in St Mary’s Road, Peckham.

“Concerns had been raised about the welfare of a woman who lived at the address.

“Officers attended and forced entry. The body of a 61-year-old woman who was deceased was found inside.

“The woman’s death is being treated as unexplained but not suspicious. A file will be prepared for the coroner.”

Screaming passengers ‘prayed’ during terrifying Storm Eunice landing before being flown 200 miles away

The British Airways passenger plane on its way to Manchester Airport struggled with high winds on approach before being diverted to Glasgow   (Getty)
The British Airways passenger plane on its way to Manchester Airport struggled with high winds on approach before being diverted to Glasgow (Getty)

passenger onboard a plane that attempted to land at Manchester Airport amid ferocious winds said people were “praying” as Storm Eunice sent the “screaming” passengers “up and down in their seats.”

The TUI pilot tried twice to land the aircraft from Morocco on Friday amid heavy downpours and wind speeds of more than 100mph before it was diverted to Glasgow in the face of unrelenting conditions.

Storm Eunice brought with it the strongest winds experienced in Britain for over 30 years, prompting the Met Office to issue two “red” weather warnings (posing possible danger to life) in south Wales and southwest England, as well as in London and the southeast.

“The turbulence from the wind was horrendous. People were panicking and screaming. It’s the worst flight I have ever been on and everyone said the same thing,” an unnamed passenger onboard Flight BY669 from Marrakesh told the Manchester Evening News.

“I heard one child asking their parents ‘are we going to die’ and that really brought things home.”

“Kids and adults were vomiting. People were having panic attacks. Strangers were holding hands and families leant over to hold hands across the aisle. People were praying. It was just a horrible experience.”

He proceeded to tell the newspaper that the airline had failed to provide sick bags, so passengers resorted to duty free bags and were otherwise stick onto the floor of the aircraft.

“Everyone was helping each other, sharing tissues, sweets, talking to each other and helping each other through,” he said.

Following the second attempt to ground the flight in Manchester, passengers were told the plane was being diverted. It landed safely at Glasgow Airport at around 5.30pm on Friday afternoon.

It came as dozens of flights were cancelled and more than 100 delayed at Heathrow and Gatwick airports on the same day.

British Airways said the rate at which aircrafts were permitted to land at Heathrow Airport was “being reduced due to gale force winds”.

At least 65 flights, both departures and arrivals, were cancelled at Heathrow Airport on Friday and a further 114 were delayed by more than 15 minutes, according to aviation data provider FlightStats by Cirium.

There were 15 cancellations and 67 delayed flights at Gatwick.

The Independent contacted TUI for comment.

The travel operator told the Manchester Evening News in a statement: “We’re aware that due to Storm Eunice TUI Airways TOM669 from Marrakech to Manchester was diverted to Glasgow, as the safety of our and crew is our number one priority. Our crew offered support onboard, and all passengers were safely disembarked.”

Mother-of-five crushed by falling 2,000-pound gravestone in New York

Baron Hirsch Cemetery in Staten Island, New York City.  (Wikimedia Commons )
Baron Hirsch Cemetery in Staten Island, New York City. (Wikimedia Commons )

A New York family is suing a Staten Island cemetery after a 2,000-pound grave monument fell on an employee who was tending a nearby grave, killing her.

On 28 October, according to court documents, mother-of-five Elvira Navarro, 53, was working at the Baron Hirsch Cemetery alongside her son Anthony Rosales when the gravestone came down on top of her, The New York Post reports.

She was taken to Richmond University Medical Center, where she died of her injuries the same day.

Now her family has sued the Baron Hirsch Cemetery Association in Manhattan court, accusing it failing to maintain safe working conditions at the historic Jewish cemetery, which was built in 1899 and is home to many Holocaust survivors.

The Independent has reached out to the BHCA for comment.

The suit, filed earlier this month, accuses the cemetery of “causing, permitting, and allowing the Cemetery to become and remain in a dangerous, hazardous, trap-like condition”.

It also alleges that Anthony Rosales suffered greatly after watching his mother die, sustaining “severe and permanent injuries, a shock to his nervous system, psychological trauma and has been caused to suffer severe physical pain and mental anguish”.

“I’m devastated to hear that news,” Rabbi Andrew Schultz, executive director of the Community Alliance for Jewish-Affiliated Cemeteries, which helps maintain Jewish cemeteries, told the Post.

“That’s what we worry about the most, as an organization. That is the greatest fear we have.

“That’s why in the work we do, one of the very first things we do is making sure the stones are secure … It could happen at even the best-maintained cemeteries; you will see stones that are leaning.”