24th July 2007
A pregnant woman trapped in her home by floodwater gave birth to twin babies who both died, it was revealed today.
She called for help after going into premature labour in Tewkesbury.
A paramedic could not get to her because of the high waters so two Royal Air Force helicopters were sent, according to Gloucestershire Police.
The twins were winched into one helicopter, while the woman was lifted to safety.
All three were taken to Cheltenham Hospital but the twins died. They were premature at 21 weeks.
Rescue: An RAF Sea King helicopter, like the one pictured here over Tewkesbury Gloucestershire, rescued premature twins who later died
They were flown all flown to her home in Tewkesbury to hospital but the twins were later pronounced dead.
The family of the woman, who was 21 weeks pregnant, dialled 999 on Saturday morning and an ambulance was sent but could not get to the house because of floodwater.
The news came as a search got underway for a teenager missing since the height of the floods.
Mitchell Taylor, 19, from Tewkesbury, has not been seen since he left a bar in the deluged Gloucestershire town in the early hours of Saturday.
Officers said they were investigating all possibilities.
Gloucestershire Police spokesman Matt Ford said: "He has been registered as a missing person.
"There are a lot of resources in Tewkesbury at the moment and our officers are aware that he has not been seen."
His mother, Jane Taylor, told the Gloucestershire Echo: "It's not like him to be gone from home so long."
Mrs Taylor said her son was last seen by his brother's girlfriend at 1.30am on Saturday.
A police spokeswoman said: "The RAF were called and a helicopter carrying a highly experienced paramedic was diverted to the scene.
"The mother and babies were taken to Cheltenham General Hospital faster than an ambulance would have been able to do in normal circumstances, where everything possible was done to help them.
Sadly, the babies did not survive."
Flight Lieutenant Douglas Larkam of B Flight, 22 Squadron, said: "She had given birth moments before we arrived. To be winched into a helicopter must have been pretty nerve-racking for her."
It could be two weeks before supplies of tap water are restored to 340,000 people in Gloucestershire in the floods. People living along the Thames are preparing for levels to peak tonight.