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One killed as roads burst in heatwave

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One killed as roads burst in heatwave
Photo: DPA
10:01 CEST+02:00
Motorway experts on Thursday warned Germans to drive safely, as sweltering heat has caused roads to buckle up to half a metre into the air - and already resulted in one fatality.

A biker was killed and four people injured on the A93 near Abensberg in Lower Bavaria on Wednesday because of one bump in the road, wrote Süddeutsche Zeitung on Thursday.

The 59-year-old man drove over a point where the road had buckled up in the extreme heat; he hit the crash barrier and died at the scene. Four cars had driven over the bump earlier in the day, resulting in four people injured and damage to all the vehicles.

Bulging roads in the heat caused traffic problems in other parts of the country on Wednesday, wrote the paper, including along stretches of the A8 near Karlsruhe and A7 in Baden-Württemberg, as well as the A3, A7 A92 and A94 in Bavaria.

Experts spoke of “blow-ups” where concrete slabs lining the road burst open in the extreme temperatures.

“It's unusual that this is occurring so quickly in so many places today,” Josef Seebacher, spokesman for the southern Bavaria motorway authority told the paper. “All drivers are urgently requested to drive very carefully on all stretches of concrete.”

Severe storms are expected to hit the country in the wake of the heatwave – on Wednesday evening the German weather service DWD gave extreme weather warnings for Thuringia, Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia.

By Thursday thunder and lightning, heavy rain, hail and strong winds are expected to batter the west, spreading east overnight into Friday. By Saturday the whole country will be in the grip of heavy storms, said DWD.

The Local/jlb

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