Prime News, International (Berlin), January 19:- Nine people including two firefighters were killed Thursday as violent gales battered northern Europe, snapping air and train links.
Germany halted all long-distance rail traffic for at least a day, while numerous domestic flights were scrapped as hurricane-force winds lashed the country.
The storm claimed six lives in Germany, including two firefighters deployed in emergency operations and two truck drivers whose vehicles were blown over by the gales.
Another driver died when he lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a truck.
A 59-year-old camper was killed instantly when a tree fell on him in North Rhine-Westphalia state, German police said, as wind speeds reached a high of 203 kilometers an hour (126 mph) at the Brocken — the highest peak of northern Germany.
The storm, named Friederike, also ripped the roof off a school in the eastern state of Thueringia while children were still in the building. Authorities said no one was hurt there.
In the Bavarian alps, the strong gales forced the cancellation of a ski world championship qualifier at Oberstdorf.
Passengers stuck at rail stations were given a voucher for a hotel room, German rail service Deutsche Bahn spokesman Achim Strauss said.
“We must protect our passengers and our staff,” he added, without saying when the rail service would return to normal. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).