Powerful storm kills five in Germany

Wednesday 11 June 2014 10.14
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Lightning strikes near Hanover, Germany
Lightning strikes near Hanover, Germany
The remains of a roof damaged in the storms are dispersed in Neuss, Germany
The remains of a roof damaged in the storms are dispersed in Neuss, Germany
Lightning over Slieversdorf, Germany
Lightning over Slieversdorf, Germany

At least five people were killed  when a powerful storm hit Germany’s western state of North-Rhine Westphalia.

A storm raged over Germany’s most populous state, forcing Dusseldorf airport to shut down temporarily, disrupting public transport and making some roads impassable due to fallen trees.

A 50-year-old cyclist was killed by a falling tree in Cologne, while three more people died in Dusseldorf when a tree fell on a house.

A 49-year-old man died in Essen when he collapsed while helping to clear rubble on the street. 

Germany’s third-largest airport was forced to close for around an hour, causing 10 incoming flights to be diverted and another 10 to be cancelled.

The airport said gusts of up too 150km an hour were recorded.

Train services were also temporarily suspended due to the high winds, with trams and underground trains also forced to stop due to damaged overhead lines.

Electrical outages were also reported in some areas.

The storm has moved further northeast, where the German Meteorological Service has issued warnings for regions including Hanover and Bremen. 

Stormy and wet weather is set to persist in the country, following a spell of high temperatures. 

France, Belgium and The Netherlands have all also been hit by stormy weather in recent days.