Wave of accidents hits drivers in north Germany

Icy conditions have sent vehicles spinning off the road across the country, with 85 car accidents in the city of Osnabrück alone.

Wave of accidents hits drivers in north Germany
A crash on the Autobahn 2 between Magdeburg and Brunswick. Photo: DPA

Local police in the west German town said that 12 people had been injured in the string of accidents, although most only resulted in damage to the bodies of the cars.

In one particularly severe case on the Autobahn outside Osnabrück eight vehicles collided, including two lorries.

All buses were taken out of action in by local authorities due to the treacherousness of the conditions.

“Anyone who goes outside will know why we took this decision,” Katja Diehl, spokesperson for the Osnabrück city administration said.

The Autobahn 2 was also brought to a halt on Tuesday after several trucks collided with one another between Magdeburg and Brunswick. The A2 the main transport artery connecting Berlin with the densely populated Ruhr district of west Germany.

Tragedy also struck in Aiterhofen, Bavaria on Monday afternoon, where a woman died in a serious crash on black ice.

The woman had tried to overtake another vehicle on the slippery surface but lost control of her car and slammed head-on into a truck. The passenger in the car died at the scene. The driver was taken to hospital in a critical condition.

Source: DWD

Although north and east Germany as set for more cold weather into Wednesday, with possible snowfall in Thuringia, the weather is supposed to ease by the weekend.

On Saturday north Germany will experience temperatures between 0 and 5 degrees Celsius, the German Weather Service says.

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Tornado in western Germany injures dozens

Almost 40 people were injured, several seriously, on Friday in a suspected tornado which hit the western German city of Paderborn, the police and fire brigade said.

Tornado in western Germany injures dozens

A police spokesman said the tornado also caused significant damage in the city in the North Rhine-Westphalia state, following abnormally high temperatures for the time of year.

The city’s fire department said on Twitter that “38 injured people, including some gravely” had been taken to hospital. The police said one person was fighting for their life.

Paderborn, fire service added, “Please do not drive to Paderborn on your own without prior agreement of help. If necessary, further units of the fire brigade will be alerted and called in.”

In neighbouring Rhineland-Palatinate state, a 38-year-old man died after he was electrocuted when he entered his flooded basement and fell on his head, the police in the city of Koblenz said.

Railway travel was disrupted in the west of the country, as police called on people to remain indoors.

In Paderborn, police estimated the damage caused by the tornado at “several million” euros.

The spokesman reported “roofs torn off, windows shattered and numerous trees uprooted throughout the city”.

View of destroyed cars on a street. A tornado caused massive damage in Paderborn and Lippstadt on Friday 20th May 2022.

View of destroyed cars on a street after a tornado caused massive damage in Paderborn and Lippstadt on Friday 20th May 2022. Photo: Picture Alliance/Dpa/Friso Gentsch

Images posted on social media showed the tornado column progressing towards homes, sweeping away trees and building sections. Other pictures from the wider region showed cars that had been upturned.

The town of Lippstadt, about 30 kilometres away (18 miles), was also probably hit by a tornado, a fire department spokesperson said, though no injuries had been recorded. The steeple of the church in Lippstadt had been destroyed by the high winds.

People stand in front of the St. Clemens Catholic Church in Hellinghausen near Lippstadt, the top of which was destroyed. A suspected tornado caused massive damage in Lippstadt on Friday 21st May 2022. Photo: Picture alliance/DPA/Friso Gentsch

German meteorological services had put out a storm warning for Friday and predicted gales of up to 130 km/h (80 miles/h) in some places.

The bad weather first hit the west of the country and was set to travel eastwards.