Down badly affected by rainfall


THREE CO Down teenagers have been rescued from the Mourne Mountains as torrential rainfall caused severe disruption across the North.

Also in Co Down a man died in a two-vehicle crash near Crossgar, as heavy rain caused dangerous driving conditions. Five other motorists were rescued from their vehicles near Moira when they were trapped by flood waters.

The Northern Met office issued a severe weather warning on Monday evening, predicting 30-50mm of rain overnight. Police also warned of severe flooding on many roads, including the main A1 between Belfast and Dublin.

Three girls, aged between 15 and 17, were camping on the Mournes when they were woken at 5am yesterday to discover most of the campsite had been washed away.

They called mountain rescue when a swollen river blocked their path down from the mountain campsite.

Ed Kilgore, chairman of the Mourne Rescue Service said, "If they had decided to try to get across the river it could have been nasty" and described the girls as "wet, miserable and relieved" upon rescue. The girls were greeted by relatives at the foot of the mountain, and given dry clothes by the rescue team.

Elsewhere, a man in his early 40s died yesterday following a collision with a van near Crossgar, Co Down.

He was killed on the Saintfield road at about 7am yesterday morning, during treacherous conditions caused by the heavy rain. Police say the occupants of the van were unhurt in the incident.