Deadly storm Friederike causes Dutch and German transport chaos

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Eight people including two firefighters have been killed in storm-related accidents as hurricane-strength winds tear across northern Europe.

Many of those killed, in the Netherlands and in Germany, were hit by falling trees and debris. One died in a collision when his van was blown on to the other side of the road.

The storm has now crossed to Poland.

Facing gusts of up to 140km/h (90mph), Germany’s train operator Deutsche Bahn cancelled all long-distance services for the rest of Thursday.

Many regional services were also cancelled.

Deutsche Bahn had already suspended rail traffic in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), neighbouring Rhineland-Palatinate state and Lower Saxony, when it announced a Germany-wide suspension of long-distance trains. Any regional trains still running have cut their speed because of the strong winds.

A spokesman said it was the “right decision” due to the risk of trees falling on overhead wires and on tracks.

Many domestic flights have also been cancelled.

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