A RUNAWAY road sweeping lorry has hit a house in Rayleigh, leaving it structurally damaged.

The fire service was called to the two-storey home, in Claremont Crescent, shortly before 8.40am.

The large, unmanned roadsweeping vehicle is understood to have left the road and crashed into the side of the property, demolishing the kitchen.

No one is reported to be hurt but the building is structurally unsafe and an engineer from the local authority has been called to the scene.

Urban search and rescue teams were also called and at 11.10am they were still working to shore up the house and make it safe.

A police spokeswoman said: Police were called at 8.10am today to reports that a road sweeper was in collision with a house in Claremont Crescent, Rayleigh, causing structural damage to the building. No one was injured.

"The vehicle, which was unmanned at the time, has been seized for examination by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency.

Inquiries are ongoing and anyone with information is asked to call PC Mark Weeble at Laindon roads policing unit on 101

For the full story see tomorrow's Echo.