Dozens injured after tornado smashes into German city

Paderborn police said 43 people had been hurt.

Dozens injured after tornado smashes into German city

A tornado has swept through the western German city of Paderborn, injuring at least 30 people as it blew away roofs, toppled trees and sent debris flying for miles.

Meteorologists had warned that heavy rainfall and hail were expected in western and central Germany on Friday, with storms producing gusts up to 81mph.

Storms on Thursday had already disrupted traffic, uprooted trees that toppled on to railway tracks and roads, and flooded hundreds of basements in western Germany.

Germany Weather
Two trucks lie overturned after a storm in Paderborn (Lino Mirgeler/dpa via AP)

One woman was in a life-threatening condition, police said.

They urged people to remain in their houses so as not to hamper rescue efforts or endanger themselves.

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

Authorities in Bavaria said 14 people were injured on Friday when the wooden hut they were trying to shelter in collapsed during a storm at Lake Brombach, south of Nuremberg. Among the injured were several children and a 37-year-old woman, who was airlifted to a hospital with serious injuries.

Police said two French citizens died after their motorised paraglider was caught by a strong gust of wind shortly after taking off on Thursday from an airfield in Ballenstedt, 109 miles south west of Berlin.

Germany Weather
Debris lies in front of the Catholic Church of St Clemens, whose spire was destroyed, in Hellinghausen near Lippstadt (Friso Gentsch/dpa via AP)

Shortly after the warning, “they appear to have been hit by a gust of wind that caused the paraglider to collapse, and the air vehicle crashed on to a field from a height of about 40 metres (131 feet)”, police said.

Schools in the western city of Cologne closed before midday to give students time to make it home safely before the storms hit.

Further south in Ahrweiler county, all schools were closed on Friday. More than 130 people were killed in the region last summer after it was hit by a flash flood in July.

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