Three people killed as winter storm batters Netherlands

Fallen tree in Rotterdam.


ENSCHEDE–Two people have been killed by falling trees in the Netherlands as winds of up to 120 kilometres-per-hour battered the country on Thursday morning.

  In Enschede, a 62-year-old person was killed when the car he was driving was hit by a tree brought down in the gale force winds. And in Zwolle, a 62-year-old man died when he was hit on the head by a branch, news agency ANP said.

  In Lingewaal, south of Utrecht, a 64-year-old man was killed and another injured when they were hit by what police said was a “plexiglass construction” which fell down on a private industrial estate.

  In Limburg, a woman pushing a buggy had a narrow escape while out for a morning walk.

  Dozens of people have also been injured by falling trees and flying debris. The centre of Almere was closed off to passers-by because of the danger posed by flying glass.

  Eyewitness Vaiibhav Mugundan told that he had seen several ambulances coming to take away injured people.

  Schiphol airport was closed for a time because of the strong cross winds but services began to pick up speed again in the early afternoon. All rail services remained suspended at 1:30pm but some trains were running in Groningen and Limburg.

  Several NS stations have been damaged by the winds and the train operator said storm had caused major problems to some overhead cables. Trees and other debris have also made it impossible to run normal services.

  The emergency services have reported dealing with more than 1,600 damage reports between 8:30am and 12:30pm Netherlands time, when the winds began to die down.

Source: The Daily Herald