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One person killed and at least 40 hurt

A man has died and at least 43 people have been injured after three tornadoes swept across Germany.

The German Weather Service warned of heavy rainfall and strong winds in west and central regions of the country, advising residents to stay at home on Friday evening.

The violent storms – which had already flooded homes and wreaked havoc to public transport – generated the tornadoes which saw debris thrown into the air and a church steeple ripped off.

Elsewhere in the region, a tornado struck Paderborn which blew away roofs, tore trees from their roots and destroyed cars.

The city’s mayor confirmed 43 people had been injured, 13 of which seriously.

In nearby Hellinghausen, strong gusts ripped a steeple from the roof of a church tower, while more than 100 were reportedly trapped at a local swimming pool after toppled trees blocked the exit.

A worker removes a fallen free that fell on a car in Lippstadt, Germany, a day after heavy rains and a tornado hit the area, Saturday, May 21, 2022. (David Inderlied/dpa via AP)
A worker removes a fallen free that fell on a car in Lippstadt, Germany (Picture: AP)
Two trucks overturned after a storm in Paderborn, Germany, Friday, May 20, 2022. A tornado swept through the western German city of Paderborn on Friday, injuring at least 30 people as it blew away roofs, toppled trees and sent debris flying for miles, authorities said. (Lino Mirgeler/dpa via AP)
Two trucks overturned after a storm in Paderborn, Germany (Picture: AP)

Further south in Bavaria on Friday, authorities said some 14 people were injured when a wooden hut they were sheltering in at Lake Brombach collapsed during the storm.

Among them were several children and a 37-year-old woman, who was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries.

Meteorologists say the stormy conditions were caused by hot air from Africa meeting cooler air from northern Europe.

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