A giant boulder of ice crashed through a man’s roof and landed his bed – just before he was going to turn in.
Jamie Shean was watching television in his rented flat in Bristol with his friend Rob Jarvis when they heard an ‘explosion’ in his bedroom.
The pair rushed upstairs at around 10.15pm on Saturday expecting to find a stray firework had smashed through his bedroom window.
But they were met with a huge, gaping hole through the roof and the ceiling, with a roof joist hanging down.
Huge chunks of ice – some the size of a football – were littering the floor.
Jamie Shean was watching television in his rented flat in Bristol with his friend Rob Jarvis when they heard an ‘explosion’ in his bedroom
Mr Shean and Mr Jarvis (pictured) rushed upstairs at around 10.15pm on Saturday expecting to find a stray firework had smashed through his bedroom window
The pair were met with a huge, gaping hole through the roof and the ceiling, with a roof joist hanging down
It is unclear where the ice came from but it is thought it fell from the bottom of a passing plane.
Mr Shean, of Lockleaze, Bristol, said: ‘It was a hell of a crash. I realised I would’ve been dead if I had been in bed at the time.
‘I was sitting there watching telly – it must have been 10.15pm, maybe 10.20pm, I’m not sure.
‘There was just this almighty “boom”, like a massive crash from the bedroom. It sounded like an explosion.
Huge chunks of ice – some the size of a football – were littering the floor after the incident
Landlord Ronnie Arathoon, who is contacting his insurance company and sending the roofers round to begin repairs, wants answers
‘I fully expected to find that someone had fired a firework through the window and it had gone off in the room.
‘But the window was still there so I thought there had been a boiler exploded in the loft or something.’
‘Then we looked around and saw all this ice, huge pieces of it, everywhere,’ he added.
The pair cleared what they could of the mess and tried to preserve the ice – but some chunks were too big to fit in the freezer, and in total they saved just one or two pieces.
And when Mr Shean went outside to assess the damage and work out what had happened, all he could see was a large hole in the corner of his roof, just above his bed.
He said: ‘It’s really hard to work out exactly how big the block of ice would’ve been. It must have been the size of a sink or something.
Mr Arathoon said: ‘It’s pretty crazy this could happen. It was like a boulder had crashed through, a boulder of ice. It’s absolutely mad, what are the chances?’
‘It smashed through tiles, a wooden joist and the bedroom ceiling and shattered into pieces.’
Landlord Ronnie Arathoon, who is contacting his insurance company and sending the roofers round to begin repairs, wants answers.
‘It’s pretty crazy this could happen. It was like a boulder had crashed through, a boulder of ice. It’s absolutely mad, what are the chances?
‘We’ve put it down to a plane, it’s the only thing we can think has happened. I’m just glad Jamie is okay,’ he added.
There were two planes flying directly overhead roughly around the time the incident happened.
It is unclear where the ice came from but it is thought it fell from the bottom of a passing plane
The first was an EasyJet flight which flew east to west over Mr Shean’s home at approximately 10.07pm, on its descent into Bristol Airport from Rome.
But the second was a Thomas Cook flight from Banjul in Gambia that was coming in to land at an airport in the West Midlands, and flew over Mr Shean’s home at 10.17pm.
A Thomas Cook spokesman said: ‘Mr Shean has been in contact with us and we are investigating.’
A representative of EasyJet said: ‘There is no indication that this issue is related to the EasyJet flight in the area on 4 November’.
The spokesman continued by saying that falling ice from aircraft would only occur for two reasons.
Firstly, due to the toilet system on older planes – and no EasyJet planes are old enough for this to happen, he said.
Secondly, because of a water leak – and as no water leaks had been reported on any of their aircraft, EasyJet said they were ‘confident this is not related to our aircraft’.
A spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Authority said that while incidents of falling ice from aeroplanes are ‘very very rare’, they do happen.
In such incidents the cost to repair homes damaged should be paid by the airline.
A spokesperson for Heathrow Airport said: ‘Whilst ice falls from aircraft are rare, ice can form on the outside of an aircraft when it is cruising at high altitude.
‘As it descends into warmer air, these chunks may break away and fall to the ground.
‘Despite popular beliefs, modern aircraft do not have the facility to eject toilet waste whilst they are airborne.’
‘Waste collection happens when the aircraft lands at an airport and is disposed of responsibly,’ the spokesperson added.
A spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Authority said that while incidents of falling ice from aeroplanes are ‘very very rare’, they do happen
How ice can fall from a plane
In 2013, 25 incidents of ice falling were reported to the Civil Aviation Authority, followed by 12 in both 2014 and 2015, falling to 10 in 2016.
The chances of experiencing property damage due to falling ice is ‘extremely low’, according to Heathrow Airport.
Though incidents of falling ice are often attributed to aviation there have been several reported incidents of large ice clumps called megacryometeors falling from the sky despite no planes flying overhead and no clouds.
But ice forming on an aircraft’s exterior can occur while it is cruising at a high altitude, and as it descends into warmer air chunks can break off.
Toilet waste is not ejected from airbourne planes – waste collection occurs once the craft has landed, but faulty hose valves used to empty aircraft have reportedly leaked fluid which has frozen, according to the Civil Aviation Authority.
The CAA website states: ‘We have also received reports of discoloured ice which may carry an odour.
‘This could originate from a leak from a faulty seal on a lavatory hose socket at a servicing point on an aircraft, which is used to unload waste liquid when on the ground.
‘This is sometimes referred to as “blue ice”.’
The airline are responsible for repairing the damage caused from falling ice.
If the ice is clear, one possible origin is a leak from the portable water system at an external servicing point, which provides clean water to an aircraft’s galley and lavatory.
According to EU Regulations, UK operators must perform regular scheduled maintenance on their aircraft which should minimise the risk of ice falls.
But basic checks for aircraft are also covered under international agreements.
A spokesman for the CAA said that there has never been a serious injury from falling ice in the UK, and incidents of falling ice are ‘very very rare’.
‘They’re not always caused from aircraft, but it is possible,’ the spokesman added.