Man killed, 100 injured in freak German hailstorm

29th June 2006, Comments 0 comments

29 June 2006, BERLIN - A storm that drenched parts of south-western Germany and brought hailstones as big as tennis balls killed one man and injured more than 100 people, police said on Thursday as a clean- up began.

29 June 2006

BERLIN - A storm that drenched parts of south-western Germany and brought hailstones as big as tennis balls killed one man and injured more than 100 people, police said on Thursday as a clean- up began.

In the Black Forest town of Villingen-Schwenningen, population 82,000, a teacher, Rolf-Juergen Look, stared sadly at his car, which had dozens of dents from the Wednesday evening hailstorm.

"It happened in just a few minutes," he said. Holes were punched in the roof of his home too, and months of gardening was wasted, with all the young plants flattened. Area firefighters took 700 calls to pump out basements, patch roofs and clear roads of debris.

"We only bought our BMW three days ago and now it's a total write- off," said another resident, Ingrid Huber, 50. "And on top of that, I got hit on the head by the hail."

The town hospital said it treated 120 people, mostly for bruises and cuts from lumps of ice.

A 66-year-old farmer who tried to herd his cattle into a shed in the nearby area of Haslach drowned when a peaceful stream became a torrent, sweeping away a trailer that hit him and held him under water.

The summer storm, attributed by meteorologists to sharp changes of temperature, caused millions of euros in damage. On Thursday, debris was being swept away, windows were re-glazed and other damage fixed.

The extremes were marked by a temperature reading of minus one degree Celsius at dawn Friday at a weather observatory on Germany's North Sea coast and reports of 40 degrees Celsius in the shade, just 1,200 kilometres away in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina, this week.

Spots baked by the sun had reached temperatures of 60 degrees in Bosnia this week, according to the Sarajevo weather office, which said the previous seven days had been the hottest for a century.

DPA

Subject: German news

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