Friends spot the top of a tornado

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AN UNSUSPECTING group of friends got more than they bargained for when they sighted this spinning column of air in Bury St Edmunds on Sunday.

The freak occurrence is thought to have been a funnel cloud, the top half of a tornado, and was spotted at the back of St Olaves shops, on the Howard Estate, at about 8.30pm.

Looking at radar images from the area on Sunday, a spokesman from the Met Office said: “There were certainly some very bright echoes, indicating heavy showers. This unstable and showery airmass across the UK can be conducive for tornadic development.”

Simon Pettitt, 21, had been to dinner at a friends when they saw the spinning mass.

He said: “We were absolutely blown away. We were a bit nervous because as far as we knew there was a tornado outside but we ran out and managed to get a few pictures.”