Thunderstorms in Frankfurt cause flight cancellations, train delays

On Thursday afternoon, thunderstorms and heavy rain in the Frankfurt region were responsible for 148 flight cancellations at Frankfurt Airport, in addition to several delays in train traffic.

Thunderstorms in Frankfurt cause flight cancellations, train delays
Lightning strikes Frankfurt. Photo: DPA

Firefighters were furthermore called out on over 80 occasions, mostly for flooded cellars, according to the Frankfurter Neue Presse.

Severe lightning strikes hit Hattersheim, with train traffic completely brought to a halt as a result. In Höchst, trains came to a complete stop after lightning hit a signal box.

By 5 pm, many S-Bahn lines had stopped running or were delayed due to operational issues with a train track at the Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof. Passengers were urged to rely on U-Bahn lines rather than the S-Bahn or street trams.

But the extreme weather has not stopped athletes. The JP Morgen Race, which takes place at 7 pm in the city centre, is still taking place, according to organizers.

While the German Weather Service issued a maximum warning of 4, or extreme thunderstorms, at noon, it said that the storms would slowly decrease into the night.

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Emergency numbers fail in several German states

Callers to the emergency numbers 110 and 112 weren’t able to reach operators Thursday morning in several German states.

The 112 emergency number on an ambulance.
The 112 emergency number on an ambulance. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

The emergency number 110 for police and 112 for fire crews failed around the country early Thursday morning, with callers unable to reach emergency operators for urgent assistance between about 4:30 am and 5:40 am local time.

The Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Aid is looking into these outages, which were reported in states including Lower Saxony, Baden-Württemberg, and  Brandenburg, and in major cities like Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, and Frankfurt. Cologne was further affected by cuts to electricity, drinking water, and regular telephone services. Lower Saxony also saw disruptions to the internal phone networks of police and hospitals.

Emergency services are not reporting any more disturbances and people should be able to once again reach 110 and 112 around the country as normal.

Investigators are looking into the problem, but haven’t yet established a cause or any consequences that may have happened due to the outage. Provider Deutsche Telekom says they have ruled out the possibility of an attack by hackers.