Seven killed as storms hit Poland, Czech Republic

WARSAW, July 24, 2009 (AFP) - At least seven people have died in Poland and the Czech Republic and dozens were injured after heavy storms and torrential rain felled trees, electricity poles and ripped off roofs.

Six people died across Poland Thursday -- three in Lower Silesia in the southwest, one in the western region of Poznan and two in central Lodz, Pawel Fratczak, a spokesman for the fire service told AFP.

He said 34 people had suffered "serious injuries," adding that hundreds of cellars were flooded and many homes had their roofs ripped off.

Seventeen people were injured when they were electrocuted by a fallen high tension cable in the western area of Krotoszyn.

Officials said winds packing up to 100 kilometres (60 miles) an hour prised off rooftops and disrupted traffic across a vast swathe of Poland. Several trees were uprooted in the capital Warsaw.

A 75-year-old woman died and several people were injured by falling trees in heavy storms in the Czech Republic on Thursday evening, the CTK news agency reported.

The fatality occurred in northern Hradek nad Nisou. A boy and a man suffered serious injuries in the same region.

Fallen trees also damaged electricity lines and disrupted rail traffic in several places, including in the capital Prague.

A woman in the Czech Republic's north suffered a head injury from a metal billboard ripped off by the wind. A yacht sank in a lake in the north and a boat capsized in a river south of Prague, with four people rescued and one missing.

Lightning struck a bus stop in the country's centre, injuring two teenaged boys. 

Source: AFP

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