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1 dead, dozens injured as suspected tornado, violent storms hit western Germany

Violent storms buffeting western Germany on Friday killed at least one man and injured some 40 people, 10 of them seriously, when an apparent tornado raked several towns, police and local media said.

Rail and road transport were disrupted throughout the region

Two trucks overturned after a storm in Paderborn, Germany, on Friday. Violent storms buffeting western Germany on Friday killed at least one man and injured some 40 people, 10 of them seriously, when an apparent tornado raked several towns, police and local media said. (Lino Mirgeler/dpa/The Associated Press)

Violent storms buffeting western Germany on Friday killed at least one man and injured some 40 people, 10 of them seriously, when an suspected tornado raked several towns, police and local media said.

Images on social media showed an apparent twister, with its distinctive spinning cyclone, flinging debris through the air, though the German Weather Service did not immediately confirm that a tornado had occurred.

A 38-year-old man in the far-western town of Wittgert died of head injuries sustained when he fell after suffering an electric shock in a flooded cellar, local media quoted police as saying.

Police said up to 40 people had been injured in Paderborn, a town with a population of about 150,000 halfway between Frankfurt and Hamburg.

Rail and road transport were disrupted throughout the region.

A solar panel is among the debris lying on the ground in the aftermath of a suspected tornado that hit Paderborn, Germany, on Friday. (Lino Mirgeler/dpa/The Associated Press)

In nearby Hellinghausen, images shared on social media showed that a steeple had been ripped from the roof of a church, its remains scattered around the churchyard.

Police posted images showing trees felled or split in half, as well as roofs that had been swept clean of tiles by the winds in Paderborn.

"Sheeting and insulation were blown kilometres away," police said in a statement. "Countless roofs are uncovered or damaged. Many trees still lie on destroyed cars."

The damage to the roof of a construction machinery dealer in Paderborn is seen in the aftermath of a suspected tornado that swept through the city Friday. (Lino Mirgeler/dpa/The Associated Press)

They asked locals to stay at home as the German Weather Service warned that the stormy weather was set to continue.

Meteorologists said the extreme weather was caused by hot air coming from Africa meeting relatively cooler air moving down from northern Europe.

An uprooted tree is seen in Lippstadt, Germany, on Friday. (Friso Gentsch/dpa/The Associated Press)

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