Four dead after heavy downpours flood parts of southern Germany

At least four people, including one firefighter, died overnight into Monday as heavy rains caused severe flooding in south-western Germany, authorities said.

City officials in Schwaebisch Gmuend, which lies in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, said both the firefighter and a person he was trying to rescue were killed.

In nearby Schorndorf, a 13-year-old girl who had sought shelter from the downpour under a railway bridge was struck by a train and killed, police said.

A 12-year-old boy who was with her was unharmed, but is receiving psychiatric support after the incident.

Police in the town of Weissbach said a 60-year-old man died when an underground car park flooded.

For some areas, it was the worst flooding seen in two decades.

The heavy downpours also affected the state of Bavaria in the south-east, causing severe damage to properties in the area of Mittelfranken, where Nuremberg is situated.

Several residents in the Bavarian town of Frankenhoehe described the scenes as "like after the war."

In Baden-Wuerttemberg alone, around 7,000 people responded to more than 2,200 calls for help between Sunday afternoon and Monday morning, the state Interior Ministry in Stuttgart said. The emergency response saw firefighters, police, civil service personnel, Red Cross workers and volunteers work through the night.

The ministry said the number of injured in Baden-Wuerttemberg remained less than 10.

One house was destroyed and several others heavily damaged in the small town of Braunsbach when a river burst its banks.

Videos and photos posted on social media showed cars being carried away by the current. One vehicle appeared to slam into the side of a local business as it was swept away by a deluge of murky water.

Last update: Mon, 30/05/2016 - 10:43
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