Tornado hits western German city; dozens injured

  • Two trucks overturned after a storm in Paderborn, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. A tornado swept through the western German city of Paderborn on Friday, injuring at least 30 people as it blew away roofs, toppled trees and sent debris flying for miles, authorities said. (Lino Mirgeler/dpa via AP)

    Two trucks overturned after a storm in Paderborn, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. A tornado swept through the western German city of Paderborn on Friday, injuring at least 30 people as it blew away roofs, toppled trees and sent debris flying for miles, authorities said. (Lino Mirgeler/dpa via AP) Associated Press

  • The roof of a construction machinery dealer lies across the building during a storm in Paderborn, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. A tornado swept through the western German city of Paderborn on Friday, injuring at least 30 people as it blew away roofs, toppled trees and sent debris flying for miles, authorities said. (Lino Mirgeler/dpa via AP)

    The roof of a construction machinery dealer lies across the building during a storm in Paderborn, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. A tornado swept through the western German city of Paderborn on Friday, injuring at least 30 people as it blew away roofs, toppled trees and sent debris flying for miles, authorities said. (Lino Mirgeler/dpa via AP) Associated Press

  • A damaged car is seen after a storm in Paderborn, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. (Lino Mirgeler/dpa via AP)

    A damaged car is seen after a storm in Paderborn, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. (Lino Mirgeler/dpa via AP) Associated Press

  • A fire fighter is seen near a damaged car after a suspected tornado in Lippstadt, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. (Friso Gentsch/dpa via AP)

    A fire fighter is seen near a damaged car after a suspected tornado in Lippstadt, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. (Friso Gentsch/dpa via AP) Associated Press

  • Fire fighters remove debris after a suspected tornado in Lippstadt, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. (Friso Gentsch/dpa via AP)

    Fire fighters remove debris after a suspected tornado in Lippstadt, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. (Friso Gentsch/dpa via AP) Associated Press

  • A fire engine is seen near an uprooted tree after a suspected tornado in Lippstadt, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. (Friso Gentsch/dpa via AP)

    A fire engine is seen near an uprooted tree after a suspected tornado in Lippstadt, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. (Friso Gentsch/dpa via AP) Associated Press

  • Cars drive on the flooded B7 road in the Hubbelrath district, Duesseldorf, Germany Friday, May 20, 2022. (David Young/dpa via AP)

    Cars drive on the flooded B7 road in the Hubbelrath district, Duesseldorf, Germany Friday, May 20, 2022. (David Young/dpa via AP) Associated Press

  • A rescued buzzard is held by a volunteer after a suspected tornado in Lippstadt, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. (Friso Gentsch/dpa via AP)

    A rescued buzzard is held by a volunteer after a suspected tornado in Lippstadt, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. (Friso Gentsch/dpa via AP) Associated Press

  • People stand in front of a damaged house after a suspected tornado in Lippstadt, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. (Friso Gentsch/dpa via AP)

    People stand in front of a damaged house after a suspected tornado in Lippstadt, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. (Friso Gentsch/dpa via AP) Associated Press

  • Debris lies in front of the Catholic Church of St. Clemens whose spire was destroyed, in Hellinghausen near Lippstadt, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. (Friso Gentsch/dpa via AP)

    Debris lies in front of the Catholic Church of St. Clemens whose spire was destroyed, in Hellinghausen near Lippstadt, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. (Friso Gentsch/dpa via AP) Associated Press

  • Lightning flashes across the night sky in Stuttgart, Geremany, Friday, May 20, 2022. (Andreas Rosar/dpa via AP)

    Lightning flashes across the night sky in Stuttgart, Geremany, Friday, May 20, 2022. (Andreas Rosar/dpa via AP) Associated Press

  • A destroyed solar cell module lies on the roadside next to a fallen tree during a storm in Paderborn, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. A tornado swept through the western German city of Paderborn on Friday, injuring at least 30 people as it blew away roofs, toppled trees and sent debris flying for miles, authorities said. (Lino Mirgeler/dpa via AP)

    A destroyed solar cell module lies on the roadside next to a fallen tree during a storm in Paderborn, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. A tornado swept through the western German city of Paderborn on Friday, injuring at least 30 people as it blew away roofs, toppled trees and sent debris flying for miles, authorities said. (Lino Mirgeler/dpa via AP) Associated Press

  • Damaged cars stand on a road during a storm in Paderborn, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. A tornado swept through the western German city of Paderborn on Friday, injuring at least 30 people as it blew away roofs, toppled trees and sent debris flying for miles, authorities said. (Lino Mirgeler/dpa via AP)

    Damaged cars stand on a road during a storm in Paderborn, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. A tornado swept through the western German city of Paderborn on Friday, injuring at least 30 people as it blew away roofs, toppled trees and sent debris flying for miles, authorities said. (Lino Mirgeler/dpa via AP) Associated Press

  • View of a snapped-off tree trunk from severe weather in front of a house facade in Lippstadt, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. (Friso Gentsch/dpa via AP)

    View of a snapped-off tree trunk from severe weather in front of a house facade in Lippstadt, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. (Friso Gentsch/dpa via AP) Associated Press

  • Parts of a roof hang over the facade of a car dealer from severe weather, in Paderborn, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022.  "In the course of a thunderstorm, a whirlwind on Friday afternoon cut a swath of devastation from west to east through the middle of Paderborn towards the eastern parts of the city," police said. (Lino Mirgeler/dpa via AP)

    Parts of a roof hang over the facade of a car dealer from severe weather, in Paderborn, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. "In the course of a thunderstorm, a whirlwind on Friday afternoon cut a swath of devastation from west to east through the middle of Paderborn towards the eastern parts of the city," police said. (Lino Mirgeler/dpa via AP) Associated Press

  • A loaf of bread lies among the debris on the edge of a downtown street in Paderborn, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. Meteorologists had warned that heavy rainfall and hail were expected in western and central Germany on Friday, with storms producing wind gusts up to 130 kph (81 mph). (Lino Mirgeler/dpa via AP)

    A loaf of bread lies among the debris on the edge of a downtown street in Paderborn, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. Meteorologists had warned that heavy rainfall and hail were expected in western and central Germany on Friday, with storms producing wind gusts up to 130 kph (81 mph). (Lino Mirgeler/dpa via AP) Associated Press

  • In this photo taken with a long exposure, dark clouds pass over a street illuminated by a car in Ebing, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. The German Weather Service (DWD) expects thunderstorms for parts of Bavaria in the evening hours. (Nicolas Armer/dpa via AP)

    In this photo taken with a long exposure, dark clouds pass over a street illuminated by a car in Ebing, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. The German Weather Service (DWD) expects thunderstorms for parts of Bavaria in the evening hours. (Nicolas Armer/dpa via AP) Associated Press

  • View of an overturned used clothing container in Lippstadt, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. In the background is a downed tree. Meteorologists had warned that heavy rainfall and hail were expected in western and central Germany on Friday, with storms producing wind gusts up to 130 kph (81 mph). (Friso Gentsch/dpa via AP)

    View of an overturned used clothing container in Lippstadt, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. In the background is a downed tree. Meteorologists had warned that heavy rainfall and hail were expected in western and central Germany on Friday, with storms producing wind gusts up to 130 kph (81 mph). (Friso Gentsch/dpa via AP) Associated Press

  • The words "Unwetter" (severe weather) are displayed on a display panel on a train platform, in Ebing, Germany, Friday, May 20, 202. The German Weather Service (DWD) expects thunderstorms for parts of Bavaria in the evening hours. (Nicolas Armer/dpa via AP)

    The words "Unwetter" (severe weather) are displayed on a display panel on a train platform, in Ebing, Germany, Friday, May 20, 202. The German Weather Service (DWD) expects thunderstorms for parts of Bavaria in the evening hours. (Nicolas Armer/dpa via AP) Associated Press

  • Firefighters stand on a turntable ladder truck removing damaged remnants of a roof, in Lippstadt, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. In the foreground lies a fallen tree. A suspected tornado caused massive damage in Lippstadt on Friday afternoon. (Friso Gentsch/dpa via AP)

    Firefighters stand on a turntable ladder truck removing damaged remnants of a roof, in Lippstadt, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. In the foreground lies a fallen tree. A suspected tornado caused massive damage in Lippstadt on Friday afternoon. (Friso Gentsch/dpa via AP) Associated Press

  • Two trucks overturned after a storm in Paderborn, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. A tornado swept through the western German city of Paderborn on Friday, injuring at least 30 people as it blew away roofs, toppled trees and sent debris flying for miles, authorities said. (Lino Mirgeler/dpa via AP)

    Two trucks overturned after a storm in Paderborn, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. A tornado swept through the western German city of Paderborn on Friday, injuring at least 30 people as it blew away roofs, toppled trees and sent debris flying for miles, authorities said. (Lino Mirgeler/dpa via AP) Associated Press

 
 
Updated 5/20/2022 5:05 PM

BERLIN -- A tornado swept through the western German city of Paderborn on Friday, injuring dozens of people as it blew away roofs, toppled trees and sent debris flying for miles, authorities said.

Meteorologists had warned that heavy rainfall and hail were expected in western and central Germany on Friday, with storms producing wind gusts up to 130 kph (81 mph). Storms on Thursday had already disrupted traffic, uprooted trees that toppled onto rail tracks and roads, and flooded hundreds of basements in western Germany.

 

Paderborn police said 43 people were injured in the storm that hit the city. Thirty were being treated in hospitals and 10 of those were seriously injured.

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.

Heavy storm damage was also reported in the nearby town of Lippstadt. A church steeple in the town was toppled and the German news agency dpa reported that more than 100 people were temporarily trapped in a local open air pool after fallen trees blocked the exit.

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

Authorities in Bavaria said 14 people were injured 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.

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Police said two French citizens died after their motorized paraglider was caught by a strong gust of wind shortly after taking off Thursday from an airfield in Ballenstedt, 175 kilometers (109 miles) southwest of Berlin. Police in Saxony-Anhalt state said the pair, both 59, were urged to land because of a forecast for an abrupt change in the weather.

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 onto a field from a height of about 40 meters (131 feet),' police said.

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

Further south in Ahrweiler county, all schools remained closed 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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