Clean-up underway after deadly storm 'Fabienne' causes havoc across Germany

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Clean-up underway after deadly storm 'Fabienne' causes havoc across Germany
Storm 'Fabienne' caused major damage to this roof in Nieder Olm, Rhineland-Palatinate. Photo: DPA

A pensioner died and and a four-year-old boy is fighting for his life after a severe storm swept through Germany.


The storm, named 'Fabienne', caused major damage to southern and central parts of the country, while thousands of people across Germany faced travel disruption.

The south of Hesse, parts of Thuringia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and Saxony were particularly affected by the storm.

Rescue services remained on high alert throughout Sunday. The German Weather Service said wind gusts of up to 158km/h were recorded. 

At a camping site in Bavaria on Sunday evening, a tree fell over and killed a 78-year-old woman, according to police in the Bamberg district. The woman suffered severe injuries and died at the scene of the accident.

In Baden-Württemberg, a four-year-old boy was critically injured by a falling tree. In Epfenbach, the Rhine-Neckar district, strong winds tipped a large beech tree onto a car in which the child was sitting, at around 6 pm on Sunday.

According to police, the boy suffered life threatening head injuries and was flown to a hospital by a rescue helicopter. Three other family members in the vehicle remained unharmed, reports the Stuttgarter Zeitung.

A car travelling near a fallen down tree in Burgwindheim, Bavaria. Photo: DPA

In large parts of southern and central Germany roads had to be closed and trees had to be cleared. In Saxony, the Erzgebirgskreis area was particularly badly hit. "Callers told us about a tornado," said a spokesman for the local fire brigade. Parts of roofs were blown off houses, while a building was considered to be in danger of collapsing.

A railway spokeswoman in Berlin said that numerous trees had fallen on tracks or overhead lines. Storm damage restricted traffic for several hours on Sunday. Some routes had not been reopened on Monday morning. "Colleagues are in the process of repairing the damage as quickly as possible,” the spokeswoman said.

A tweet issued by the German Weather Service on Monday which says the storm has now moved east in the direction of Poland. 

On Monday morning, long-distance routes between Nuremberg and Regensburg between Würzburg and Ansbach were closed. Rail traffic between Nuremberg and Stuttgart was partly resumed.

On Sunday evening there had also been interruptions and delays on the DB Prestige line between Berlin and Munich; on the line between Mainz and Mannheim, Frankfurt and Heidelberg as well as Frankfurt and Mannheim.

Guests huddle together during an Octoberfest event in Munich. Photo: DPA

In Stuttgart, Munich, Nuremberg, Regensburg and Basel, DB provided accommodation to stranded passengers. The railway spokeswoman announced that restrictions could still take place on Monday morning. "The fact that trains and staff are not in the right places can have repercussions," she said.

Frankfurt Airport - Germany's largest airport - also reported problems. The weather caused delays and flight cancellations. About two dozen flights were cancelled between 4 and 6 pm. 

The storm also made an appearance in neighbouring Switzerland. There, 'Fabienne' mainly caused a stir to air traffic, the agency SDA reported. At Zurich, Basel and Geneva airports, almost all take-offs and landings were delayed in the evening.

On late Sunday evening, the German Weather Service removed all storm warnings.


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