Europe storm: Germany in big clean-up as trains run once more

Europe storm: Germany in big clean-up as trains run once more

A powerful storm spawned furious winds across Europe on Thursday, killing at least six people in three countries while toppling trees, ripping roofs off buildings, and forcing the cancellation of hundreds of flights.

At least 260 flights have been canceled at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam.

The Guardian reports that the storm also forced a halt to the Dutch national railway service for most of the morning, and that service could take hours to restore.

Social media in the Netherlands was flooded with images of people being blown from their bicycles, cargo containers falling off a ship and damage to buildings, including a roof that peeled off an apartment block in Rotterdam.

Train services have been halted on many lines across Germany and the Netherlands.

A third man died and another was severely injured when they fell through a plexiglass structure at a private industrial site, an accident that police said was linked to the storm, Efe new agency reported.

Eight people, including two firefighters, have been killed so far in storm-related incidents. In Germany's eastern state of Brandenburg, police said a gust of wind flipped a truck over a highway, killing the driver.

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Schools were closed as a precautionary measure in many parts of Germany and people particularly in western regions were warned to stay indoors if at all possible, The Guardian reported.

Some 100,000 people in North Rhine-Westphalia and in the northern state of Lower Saxony were left without power, a spokesman for German energy company Westnetz said.

Many trees were uprooted by the force of the storm which saw winds of up to 130 kilometres per hour (80 miles per hour) while others worked to fix damage to the lines, it said. Full train service is not expected to resume until Friday.

The traffic chaos also plagued the roads, with the Dutch national traffic office reporting 66 trucks had been toppled over by the high winds causing huge traffic jams on the motorways, the highest recorded number since 1990.

In a statement, the rail operator said only a limited number of trains were operating on global routes.

A truck and a damaged vehicle after the strong winds of the western storm in Kampen, Netherlands, on Thursday.

Many regional services were also cancelled.

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