Train hits snow-clearing vehicle

A regional train collided with a snow-clearing vehicle in Lübeck in the state of Schleswig-Holstein on Sunday, in a weekend of traffic chaos caused by snowstorms across northern Germany.

Train hits snow-clearing vehicle
Photo: DPA

First investigations indicated that the vehicle was in the middle of clearing a country road when the barriers were lowered as the truck reached a level crossing. The driver was unable to get the truck off the rails, but managed to jump from it before the train arrived, police said.

The train dragged the vehicle some 80 metres before coming to rest. Both the train driver and around 30 passengers escaped injury. The track has since been blocked.

Other collisions between trains and road vehicles were reported in the Lübeck area over the weekend. A delivery truck got stuck on railway tracks on a forest road in the district of Kücknitz, causing another crash.

The low pressure front known as “Keziban” has brought more brutal winter weather to Germany, particularly the northern states of Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Storms, new snow and several-metre-high snowdrifts have disrupted rail and road traffic throughout northern Germany.

One Interior Ministry spokesman said that conditions were “even more drastic” in some areas than during the storm front “Daisy” from a few weeks ago.

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South and east Germany to be struck by heavy rain and storms on Friday

The German Weather Service (DWD) warned on Friday of heavy and continuous rain in the southeast of the country.

South and east Germany to be struck by heavy rain and storms on Friday

On the border to Austria there is a chance that “extremely heavy, continuous rain” will fall on Saturday morning, the meteorologists predicted.

In the northeast of Germany, isolated, heavy thunderstorms are possible. The warnings come after fierce storms hit the Mediterranean and Austria on Friday, causing several deaths.

The German Weather Service (DWD) has issued an extreme weather warning for the south of Bavaria and parts of Baden-Württemberg. On the edge of the Alps, a severe weather warning is in effect until Saturday morning for deluges of up to 140 liters per square metre.

In other parts of Bavaria and the southwest of Baden-Württemberg, 50 to 80 litres per square metre of rain are possible, according to DWD.

The rainfall could lead to the flooding of cellars and streets, high water in streams and rivers, as well as landslides. Residents of the affected regions have been advised to close their windows and doors.

After weeks of drought and severe forest fires, DWD also predicted heavy thunderstorms with heavy rain in the east and northeast for Friday.

Isolated hailstorms and strong gusts of wind could also occur. In the evening, more showers and thunderstorms are expected to move in from the west and northwest.

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