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Two killed as storm lashes north Germany

TWO KILLED AS STORM LASHES NORTH GERMANY

Two people were killed in northern Germany Thursday as fierce winds toppled trees onto cars, while the intense storm also forced the cancellation of many train services.

Police in Hamburg said a woman was killed when a tree fell on her car, while first responders brought another woman to hospital with serious injuries.

A truck driver was killed by a falling tree on a main road in northeastern state Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, police told news agency DPA.

Another woman suffered life-threatening head injuries from a falling tree branch near the port city of Bremen.

And a thousand-tonne cargo crane tipped into the river Jade in harbour town Wilhelmshaven.

The German weather service (DWD) predicted that hurricane-force winds would continue to lash northeastern Germany into the evening Thursday.

State-owned rail operator Deutsche Bahn ordered a standstill for trains across northern Germany, especially the Hamburg-Berlin line, as many routes were blocked by fallen trees.

Many services were also cancelled in the country's east, as were urban S-Bahn trains in capital Berlin.

Berliners packed into trams and underground services to escape the powerful gusts of wind flinging traffic signs and advertising billboards to the ground.

Firefighters in the German capital were on high alert after receiving 50 emergency calls in the space of half an hour, while their colleagues in Hamburg reported responding to over 800 calls.

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