• Germany's news in English
 
Victims of deadly crash from 7 German states
Photo: DPA

Victims of deadly crash from 7 German states

Published: 09 Apr 2011 14:06 GMT+02:00

It was the most serious accident in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's history.

The interior ministry's situation center in Schwerin reported that the victims of Friday's accident came from North Rhine-Westphalia, Saxony, Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Thuringia, Berlin and Brandenburg.

NDR 1 Radio MV said at least 21 victims were still in the hospital and two were in critical condition.

German President Christian Wulff expressed his condolences for family members and the bereaved on Saturday and said he hoped the many people who were injured would recover quickly. He also thanked rescue workers for their efforts.

Strong winds blew sand and earth onto the four-lane A19 autobahn near Rostock in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania on Friday, severely hindering visibility for motorists and causing accidents in both directions.

Some 80 vehicles were involved in the pile-up, and about 30 cars and lorries caught fire. Police said the blaze may have been caused by chemicals in one of the trucks.

The German Weather Service (DWD) blamed the sandstorm on high winds and extremely dry weather.

"There had not been abundant rain in the region for an extended period of time – that means the wind does not have to reach hurricane strength to produce sandstorms like this," meteorologist Angela Richter said.

She added that winds at the site of the crash in Kavelstorf had been between 72 and 86 kilometres per hour. In areas further west, forest fire warnings have already been issued due to dry conditions.

"Storms like this are not rare in the north," DWD spokesman Gerhard Lux said. "It was more a chain of unfortunate circumstances that led to the pile-up."

The German Weather Service said the storm was, however, atypical in that it had pushed unusually far inland from the coast.

The A19 autobahn between Rostock and Güstrow was set to be reopened in both directions before the start of the week. Though there was no speed limit on that stretch of the roadway, drivers must now stay below 80 kilometres per hour.

Manfred Rathert from the state office for road construction and traffic said the autobahn toward Berlin could be reopened as early as Saturday afternoon. The motorway in the direction of Rostock was seriously damaged due by the extreme heat of the fire.

DAPD/DPA/AFP/The Local/arp

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

20:24 April 9, 2011 by Simon_Kellett
> "It was more a chain of unfortunate circumstances that led to the pile-up."

Including driving too fast/close, perchance?
20:55 April 9, 2011 by biker hotel harz
Agreed. Driving too close must be a contributary factor in many autobahn crashes.

Driving too fast ................... I don't think so
Today's headlines
'50 Shades of Grey' to premiere in Berlin
The book comes to the screen Photo: DPA

'50 Shades of Grey' to premiere in Berlin

Smut sensation "50 Shades Of Grey" will receive its international premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, it was announced Monday. READ  

Man tries to open plane door over Munich
Photo: DPA

Man tries to open plane door over Munich

A man tried to open the emergency door of a plane as it was approaching Munich airport, police reported on Monday. READ  

Reporter sacked over Pegida 'interview'
Last week's Pegida protest in Dresden, which drew a crowd of 15,000 Photo: DPA

Reporter sacked over Pegida 'interview'

An undercover reporter who allowed himself to be interviewed by a rival TV network whilst taking part in an anti-Islamization demonstration in Dresden has been sacked, Spiegel reported Monday. READ  

'We have to take care of Isis victims': minister
A Yazidi woman at a Hannover demonstration against Isis in August.

'We have to take care of Isis victims': minister

The government plans to set up a trauma centre for victims of a mass rape campaign by the Islamic State (Isis) militant group, Overseas Development minister Gerd Müller said on Monday. READ  

Adidas sells three million World Cup shirts
World Cup-winning manager Joachim Löw accepts the award at a gala in Baden Baden on Sunday Photo. DPA

Adidas sells three million World Cup shirts

Football fans have snapped up a total of more than three million replica kits of their world-cup winning heroes, Adidas announced, with much of that boost coming in the run-up to Christmas. The team were also honoured as Germany's "Sportsmen of the Year" on Sunday. READ  

Good news for your Christmas overdraft
Photo: DPA

Good news for your Christmas overdraft

Shoppers who go into the red on their bank account over the Yuletide period have received some early festive good news, with a plan to clarify Germany's complex rules on overdrafts. READ  

Amazon pledge: Xmas pressies will arrive
Striking Amazon workers outside a distribution centre in Leipzig on December 8th. Photo: DPA

Amazon pledge: Xmas pressies will arrive

Online retailer Amazon said on Monday that walkouts at distribution centres across the country wouldn't affect Christmas orders as the strike spread across Europe. READ  

Armed heist at Berlin's top department store
The aftermath of the raid at Berlin's luxury department store Photo: DPA

Armed heist at Berlin's top department store

Stunned shoppers looked on in horror as masked robbers made a daylight raid at Germany's most exclusive department store on the busiest shopping day before Christmas. READ  

Security tests find holes at Frankfurt airport
Security checks at Frankfurt airport in July 2014. Photo: DPA

Security tests find holes at Frankfurt airport

Weapons and dangerous objects were successfully smuggled through security checks 50 percent of the time at Frankfurt airport, in a probe by European Commission inspectors, it emerged on Sunday. READ  

Breakfast stumble costs Berlin giraffe her life
Kibaya before her fatal fall Photo: DPA

Breakfast stumble costs Berlin giraffe her life

One of Berlin Zoo’s most popular attractions has had to be put down, after tearing a muscle in her leg. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
Willy Brandt at his inauguration in 1972. Photo: DPA
National
Willy Brandt: the man, the chancellor... the airport?
Dresden skyline and river by night. Photo: DPA
Politics
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
Sponsored Article
Why are these International Baccalaureate students cheering?
Germany's national football team lifts the World Cup trophy
Gallery
Germany's most-Googled words of 2014
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Sponsored Article
Top ten gifts for an expat Christmas
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Stuff your face with these festive German cookies
Photo: DPA
Culture
What do beer, breakfast cereal and dildos have in common?
Culture
The Local's guide to German Christmas markets
Sponsored Article
Top five quirky Christmas jumpers
Photo: DPA
Culture
Get ready for Christmas like a German. We tell you how.
Photo: DPA
Munich
She did what with her dead mother?
Photo: DPA
National
Germany still paying for crisis fall out
Photo: DPA
Culture
Saxon wurst is the worst, Christmas market declares.
Photo: DPA
Politics
Can 'sorry' ever be enough for the Linke?
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
Offer: Unlimited airmiles through December 19th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
See how Berlin has changed in 22 photos
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,145
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd