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43 People Injured After Tornado Hits Paderborn, Germany



43 People Injured After Tornado Hits Paderborn, Germany

Dozens of people were injured by a tornado that blew away roofs, toppled trees, and sent debris flying for miles through the western German city of Paderborn on Friday.

Meteorologists predict heavy rainfall and hail in western and central Germany on Friday, with winds gusting up to 130 kph (81 mph).

On Thursday, storms disrupted traffic, uprooted trees that fell on rail tracks and roads, and flooded hundreds of basements in western Germany.

Police in Paderborn, Germany, said 43 people sustained injuries due to the storm. Thirty were treated in hospitals, and ten had serious injuries among those injured.

The condition of one woman was life-threatening, police said.

People were encouraged to stay in their homes not to hamper rescue efforts or endanger themselves.

The nearby town of Lippstadt was also badly damaged by the storm. The church steeple in the town was knocked down, and a German news agency reported that more than 100 people were temporarily trapped in an open-air pool after fallen trees blocked the entrance.

The regional fire service said all available rescuers were being deployed to the area.

Woman Airlifted to Hospital in Nuremberg, Germany

A wooden hut near Lake Brombach south of Nuremberg collapsed Friday, injuring 14 people when it was being used as a shelter during a storm. The Associated Press reported that several children and a 37-year-old woman were injured and airlifted to a hospital.

According to police, two French citizens died when a strong breeze caught their motorized paraglider shortly after taking off Thursday from an airfield in Ballenstedt, 175 kilometers (109 miles) southwest of Berlin, Germany.

The two 59-year-olds were urged to land by police in Saxony-Anhalt since a sudden change in weather was forecast.

In the aftermath of the warning, “they appeared to have been hit by a gust of wind, which caused the paraglider to collapse and the aircraft to crash onto a field from about 40 meters high,” police reported.

Schools in Cologne, Germany, west of the Rhine, closed before midday Friday to give students time to get home before the storms hit.

Schools remained closed in Ahrweiler county further south.

Tornadoes occur in Europe about 700 times a year. They are most common in summer, especially in the inland – winter is when they are rarest.

Tornadoes (F3-F5) can occur, especially in the interior and south, but are not as common as in some parts of the United States.

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