Rescue services have recovered the body of a police officer who disappeared into a swollen river after a bridge collapsed. As north west England was lashed by torrential rain.
Father of four-Pc Bill Barker was directing motorists away from the Northside bridge in Workington, Cumbria when the crossing was swept away.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown: “My thoughts are with the relatives of those people who are missing at the moment. My thoughts also are with the emergency services that are doing an absolutely brilliant job, the REF, RNLI, but all the police, ambulance, fire and hospital services who’ve been involved. And we want to do everything we can to help them in what have been one of the wettest and most difficult days in Cumbria that we have seen.”
RAF helicopters are involved in rescue operations with as many as 200 people evacuated from Cockermouth, one of the towns hardest hit.
At one point water levels hit the 2.5 metre mark.
Authorities say they have received a high volume of calls about missing people.
To add to concerns more heavy rain is due in the next 24 hours.