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Five killed, traffic chaos as storms hit Germany
BERLIN (AFP) Dec 19, 2004
Five people were killed and several were injured, most of them in traffic accidents, in a weekend of storms and snow across Germany, authorities said Sunday.

Four of the deaths occured on icey roads in the southern state of Bavaria.

A 23-year-old driver died after hitting a tree, a 41-year-old was killed and six people injured in a head-on collision, and two others died when their cars rammed other vehicles.

In the western state of Rhineland-Palatinate, 10 people were hurt when a train derailed after a tree fell across the rails.

The fifth death was recorded on the main motorway between Hanover and Hamburg, northern Germany. Four others were badly hurt.

Storms also blew down a 60-tonne support for a wind-power generator, blocking the motorway near Kassel, further south.

Wind gusts of up to 170 kilometres (105 miles) per hour were recorded on Saturday night across the southwest of Germany, as a major storm which killed six people moved from northern France toward Switzerland.

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