Tuesday 20 August 2019

Tornado wreaks havoc in Luxembourg, 15 German footballers injured after lightning strike

A tornado is seen in Petange, Luxembourg, August 9, 2019, in this still image obtained from social media.
A tornado is seen in Petange, Luxembourg, August 9, 2019, in this still image obtained from social media.
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A rare tornado has injured 19 people, two of them severely, in Luxembourg, while 15 football players were injured by a lightning strike in southern Germany as storms hit northern Europe.

The tornado in the south-western Luxembourg communities of Pettingen and Kaerjeng left a path of destruction that made up to 100 homes uninhabitable, local media reported on Saturday.

Debris and damaged cars were left strewn around the area, while at least four power poles were destroyed.

"Architects are going to come and survey the damage. Meanwhile, we will co-ordinate to cover the roofs," Paul Schroeder, director general of Luxembourg's fire and rescue service, told residents, according to Luxembourg French-language newspaper L'Essentiel.

In eastern France the tornado was less severe, but local media reported dozens of roofs were destroyed and cars damaged in the communities of Longwy and Herserange.

Tornadoes are a very rare weather condition in Europe, which is more typically hit by gales.

Southern Germany was also hit by severe thunderstorms late on Friday. Lightning struck a football field in Rosenfeld-Heiligenzimmern where 15 players were training. They were injured only slightly but were taken to hospital as a precaution.

In Bavaria, thousands of music fans were asked by police to leave an open-air concert in Rothenburg early due to the weather, while gusty winds led to the collapse of a circus tent in Neckarsulm. One horse had to be put down, while 15 other horses and camels ran away and had to be rounded up by police.

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