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At least five people killed as storms sweep across central Europe

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By AP
A collapsed scaffold lies in front of a house in Würzburg, Germany.
A collapsed scaffold lies in front of a house in Würzburg, Germany.   -   Copyright  Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa via AP

At least five people have died in Germany and Poland after storms swept across central Europe.

A train driver was killed near Berlin after being hit by a falling branch, German police said on Friday.

The 50-year-old man had stopped his train near Templin on Thursday to help a colleague clear away branches that had fallen onto the tracks, police said.

He was then hit by a branch himself and taken to a hospital, where he died on Friday morning, the DPA news agency reported.

Meanwhile, four people were killed in Poland as the storm caused damage and disruption across a large swath of the continent.

According to reports in Polish media, the hardest-hit area was around the western city of Wroclaw, where powerful gusts toppled a delivery truck, killing its driver.

Elsewhere, the storm knocked down a wall of a building being renovated, crushing a worker to death, and a tree was blown onto a car carrying two people, killing them both.

A concrete wall also collapsed in the capital, Warsaw, seriously injuring another woman.

The storm had swept ashore in the Brittany region of France’s Atlantic coast on Wednesday, where it damaged buildings and knocked out power for around 250,000 homes.

Train services were disrupted by uprooted trees littering tracks in France, Germany, and the Netherlands.

A tornado early Thursday caused damage in Schwentinental, a town near the German Baltic Sea port city of Kiel.

Storms also hit parts of southern England with heavy rainfall and strong winds prompting flood warnings.