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Blitzkrieg tornado hits Germany

A tornado spawned after a killer weekend heatwave in Germany has killed three people and left a trail of devastation across the country. Storm front "Norina" built up and ravaged large parts of Germany with hail, heavy rains and storm Monday night. In Weener, a 20-year-old woman was killed by falling tree parts when she was on her way back from the playground with her 2-year-old niece and 20 poplars were uprooted at once by the tornado. The child was only slightly injured. In Nordhorn a 47-year-old female cyclist walking her dog was killed by falling branches of a tree that was felled by the storm although she hid close to a building. In Cologne a 54-year-old female moped driver was killed when, according to the police, she sought shelter from the storm in an underpass - and was hit by a lorry. On the island of Dune, close to Helgoland, eleven people were injured, some of them seriously when the tornado that built up very quickly destroyed almost all the tents on the island. In Neuss the roof of a restaurant fell on a pickup truck that was functioning as a school bus. Around Neuss, police reported 70 emergency missions on Monday. A train in Neuss was hit by lightning and stopped dead. The train driver then locked the doors so that nobody would get out on the tracks and be injured. The Duesseldorf station was closed from noon on Monday as well. In Emsland and Bentheim alone, 500 storm emergency calls were received. Numerous pedestrians were hit by flying objects or branches. In Oldenburg the train tracks had to be closed down because trees had fallen across them. A fire brigade spokesman added: "It was like getting a month of calls in a single day."

German Herald

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