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At Least 24 Die in Europe Storms

Wind-related deaths are reported in Britain and elsewhere. Air, sea and land travel is disrupted.

October 28, 2002|From Associated Press

LONDON — Powerful winds lashed Britain and northwestern Europe on Sunday, killing at least 24 people, many crushed by falling trees. The gales also ripped off roofs and played havoc with rail, air, sea and road travel.

Falling trees killed six people in Britain, where gusts surpassed 90 mph. Six people died in the Netherlands, including two who were blown into the North Sea and believed drowned.

In Belgium, a 13-year-old roller-skater was killed after being blown into a truck, and a man repairing a roof died after falling off his ladder.

Five people died in Germany, four in northern France and one in Switzerland.

Thousands of people across England and Wales were without power, and police said many buildings sustained structural damage.

In the Netherlands, the storm disrupted train and highway traffic and caused major delays at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport.

The government of Belgium urged people to stay inside. Part of the roof of Antwerp's 10,000-seat Sports Palace was blown off, as were chimneys and tiles on countless homes around the country.

"The damage is enormous," Antwerp Mayor Leona Detiege said.

In Germany, winds reached 62 mph. A couple died when a tree fell on their car near Frankfurt. A 39-year-old Dutch woman was killed in Bocholt, near the Netherlands border, when a tree fell on her vehicle.

In France, two people died when a tree fell on their car north of Paris. Another was crushed by a collapsed roof in Caumont.

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