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Storm Friederike's winds top 200 kph, 12 killed in Europe

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Storm Friederike's winds top 200 kph, 12 killed in Europe

Storm Friederike kicks up snow in  Fichtelberg, Saxony
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At least 12 people have been killed as Storm Friedricke ripped through Western Europe on Thursday. Fierce winds stripped buildings, toppled trees and caused fatal traffic collisions, forcing transport companies to cancel trips and halt services to protect passengers, staff and infrastructure.

At least 100,000 people in Germany were left without power.

Eight people were killed in Germany, three in the Netherlands and one in Belgium when the deadly storm swept across the continent.

Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport briefly suspended all air traffic as gusts of up to 140 kph (85 mph) were recorded along the coast.

At least 260 flights were scrapped and falling roof tiles led to the closure of airport terminals. Nationwide train services and many tram and bus services were halted after the highest weather alert was issued.

In Belgium one woman driving through the Beausart Wood area near Brussels died when a tree fell on her car.

Dutch police said three people were killed by falling trees or debris in separate incidents in The Netherlands.

In Rotterdam, shipping containers were toppled and entire roofs ripped off homes.

Storm Friedericke rips off the roof of this building in the Netherlands

Schiphol later said some flights would resume as the storm moved inland, but that there would be severe delays.

Eight deaths across Germany have been linked to the storm by police, including two firefighters who died during emergency operations and two lorry drivers who were killed after their vehicles were blown over by gale-force winds.

Two men died in separate incidents in the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt. A 64-year-old man was blown eight metres (26 feet) from a roof he was repairing and died later in hospital. Another man, 34, was crushed by a falling tree and succumbed to his injuries some time later, local police said.

A 59-year-old man was killed by a falling tree in Emmerich near the Dutch border.

In North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Germany's most populous state, 41 people were injured in weather-related traffic accidents, police said.

Homes without power

Some 100,000 people in NRW and in the northern state of Lower Saxony were left without power on Thursday, a spokesman for the energy company Westnetz said.

He added that the company hoped to restore power within hours, provided the storm did not cause further damage.

The German railway operator Deutsche Bahn said it had suspended nearly all long-distance rail service due to the storm and significant disruptions were expected again on Friday.

Regional trains were also halted across northern and eastern Germany and some other areas, it said in a statement.

In a statement, the rail operator said only a limited number of trains were operating on international routes. It said it had dispatched emergency crews to deal with storm damage.