People living in Rossendale, Lancashire, had a lucky escape after a sudden huge earth slide collapsed a retaining dry stone wall at the back of nearby homes.

Police initially feared that some householders may have been trapped under the mountain of rubble.

But, luckily, the slide only took out a number of outbuildings that used to house outside toilets and smothered a few cars. Firemen took four hours to clear the earth slide, which occurred at 8pm last Tuesday, and assure residents that there were no casualties.

Graham Ridge of Davies Loss Adjuster, who was called in to asses the damage, said: "This was quite an unusual case as there had been no particularly bad weather.

"It may have been that the wall was just poorly maintained and chose to give way at that moment."