Several injured in Germany as Storm Ciara halts trains

Empty platforms at the central station after a storm in Bremen, northern Germany, on Feb 10, 2020.
Empty platforms at the central station after a storm in Bremen, northern Germany, on Feb 10, 2020.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

FRANKFURT AM MAIN (AFP) - Three people were seriously injured as Storm Ciara battered Germany on Sunday (Feb 9) and Monday, lashing the country with high winds that forced the rail operator to suspend intercity trains.

Two women were badly hurt by a falling tree in Saarbruecken on the French border, with one of them receiving life-threatening injuries, police said overnight.

Further north in Paderborn, a 16-year-old boy was hit on the head by a falling branch.

Weather forecasters said winds of up to 170 kilometres per hour had hit mountainous areas.

State-owned rail operator Deutsche Bahn (DB) shut down intercity trains on Sunday evening and warned there would be more disruption as the storm heads south.

"Several hundred" travellers slept overnight in trains set up for those stranded in stations, DB said.

Hundreds of flights were cancelled at the largest airports, including 190 in Frankfurt and 420 in Munich, news agency DPA reported.

In the financial capital Frankfurt, police said a construction crane had struck the roof of the cathedral, but could not immediately detail the extent of the damage.

Storm Ciara mostly struck northern and western Germany as it swept Europe with powerful winds overnight between Sunday and Monday.

 

On Monday, the German Weather Service (DWD) declared the second-highest storm warning in effect across southern Germany, with parts of Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg states even labelled with the highest.