3 dead as monstrous winds lash Europe, creating travel nightmare

Deadly storms driven by 0-mph wind gusts threw transportation across much of northern Europe into chaos Thursday, canceling hundreds of flights, shutting down rail lines as well as bringing havoc to roads as well as highways.

Two deaths from the Netherlands as well as one in Belgium were blamed on the storm.

Dutch broadcaster NOS posted frightening videos of a massive tree crashing down from the wind, barely missing a woman having a stroller. additional videos showed a construction trailer blowing over after a man stepped into the idea; a multiple-story sign blowing over, people tumbling from the wind through a town square; as well as bicycle commuters being blown away while waiting for lights to change at intersections.

More than 300 flights were canceled at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. All air traffic was suspended during the worst of the storm, as well as wind damage forced parts of the airport to shut down.

“Due to strong winds, a few roof plates have been detached coming from the terminal building,” the airport said in a statement. “The entrances of Departures 1 as well as 2 are therefore closed. Passengers can enter Departures 3. Check-in will be possible in all departure halls.”

The Dutch rail system NS posted on its website that will “all trains have been canceled until further notice with the exception of Arriva train services in Limburg as well as the North of the Netherlands.”

Dutch police said a 62-year-old man died after being hit from the face by a falling branch; another died from the eastern city of Enschede when a tree hit his car.

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Snow, sleet as well as rain driven by the heavy winds lashed parts of Germany. Flight operations also were briefly halted at Germany’s Cologne Bonn Airport. Rail operator Deutsche Bahn halted high-speed as well as intercity trains.

In northern Germany, Lower Saxony police said at one point crashes were taking place “every minute,” DPA news service reported.

In Belgium, schoolchildren miraculously escaped serious injury when a tree fell on a bus. A driver was killed when a tree collapsed onto her car south of Brussels, as well as scattered injuries were reported across the country as the storm picked up in intensity during the day.

In Britain, gale-force winds knocked out power to more than 150,000 homes as well as businesses. Toppled power lines as well as trees damaged homes as well as snarled traffic.

In Romania, snowstorms as well as high winds forced the closure of dozens of schools, several main roads as well as ports, as well as thousands of people were left without electricity. Indoor Minister Carmen Dan said Thursday that will some 32,000 people had no power. Authorities freed a bus carrying 22 people that will was stranded in snowdrifts in Romania’s eastern Galati region.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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