At least five killed in storms across Central Europe

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 29 October, 2017, 10:31pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 29 October, 2017, 10:31pm

At least five people died and several were injured on Sunday as high winds knocked down trees, left homes without electricity and caused widespread travel chaos across much of Central Europe.

Two people died in Poland as a result of the heavy winds, including a man who drove his car into a tree that had been knocked down by the storm, fire service spokesman Pawel Fratczak said. The second man was killed when a tree fell on his car in southwestern Poland, while his passenger was sent to hospital, Polish media reported.

Two people were killed in the Czech Republic when they were hit by falling trees, local Television reported.

A 63-year-old camper drowned in the Jadebusen river in Lower Saxony in Germany, when he was swept away in a flash flood, the German news agency dpa reported. In Berlin, one man was severely injured by roof tiles falling from a building, another man was injured when he was hit by scaffolding torn off a home and four more were injured in storm-related incidents across the country.

Storm Herwart, which had gusts of up to 180kph, caused blackouts in hundreds of thousands of homes in the Czech Republic, Austria and other countries.

Train services in several northern German states were cancelled, including links to and from Berlin, because of the danger from branches on the tracks. German rail company Deutsche Bahn opened stationary trains for stranded travellers.

A Lufthansa flight from Houston to Frankfurt made an emergency landing in Stuttgart in southwest Germany early on Sunday because of strong winds.

In the northern city of Hamburg, the Elbe river flooded a car park, the city’s famous fish market and several streets. Firefighters had to rescue seven cows from the river in the city’s Neugamme neighbourhood.

The zoos in Prague, Berlin, and the eastern German city of Rostock were closed because of the danger of falling trees.