Huge block of ice crashes into couple's Duffield home 'like an explosion'
A HUGE piece of ice crashed through the canopy of a Duffield home like "an explosion", according to the homeowners.
John and Marilyn Parker were awoken in the early hours of Monday by a loud noise.
They looked out of their window and saw shattered ice spread across their drive.
Mr Parker, 66, said: "My wife and I were awoken by an explosion.
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"I woke up immediately and ran to the front of the house and looked out of the window. I thought there had been a road accident. It sounded like a huge impact.
"It looked like there were lots of snowballs on the drive. It was completely covered."
Mrs Parker then noticed a hole in the roof of a brick-and-tile canopy at the front of the house.
"The hole in the roof was slightly larger than a football," said Mr Parker.
"It was really densely packed ice. I collected some of it and put it in my freezer because I thought the insurance company would never believe it.
"I'm just glad it missed the actual house. I wouldn't like to think what could have happened if it had hit it."
The couple called the police, who came and inspected the ice, which is thought to have come from the bottom of an aircraft.
Mr Parker said: "We thought the only logical answer was that it must have come off a plane. The speed that it must have come down was incredible. I'm curious to know more about it."
Mr Parker said a builder was called to repair the damage which cost a "couple of hundred pounds" to fix. He also called East Midlands Airport to try to find out more information.
A spokesman from East Midlands Airport said that no flights to or from the airport were flying over the Duffield area at that time.
He added: " It is therefore likely that it was inbound for a northern airport, due to the high altitude."
In August last year, a piece of ice plummeted through the roof of a retired couple's bungalow in Hulland Ward.
Paul and Deirdre Walker were sitting about 10 feet away from where the block of ice landed when it crashed on to the floor of their living room.
Mr Walker, 76, a former environmental chemist atRolls-Royce, said the incident experienced by Mr Parker was "exactly the same" as his.
He said: "It mirrors exactly what happened to me. It's pretty worrying. If it had hit anybody, it could have killed them."
In November 2006, ice landed near a Chaddesden home and narrowly missed hitting a woman and her granddaughter.
And, in June 2008, a car was badly damaged when a block of ice fell from a plane flying over Derby.
The ice made a huge dent in the roof of a Renault Clio which had been parked in Elms Avenue, Littleover, only 10 minutes before it was struck.
A spokesman from the Civil Aviation Authority said it was difficult to establish whether the fall of ice on Monday had come from an aircraft but it was something that happened occasionally.
He said: "Ice falls are very rare in the UK, with only around 25 reports each year, despite approximately two million flights operating in the UK annually.
"Because of the high number of flights in our airspace, it is sometimes difficult to identify the exact source of an ice fall, although the CAA does record reports of incidents and may investigate depending on the circumstances."
He said anyone who wished to report an ice fall should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with as much information as possible, including the time and location of the incident, and a description of the ice.