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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Storm Winds Kill 24, Disrupt Travel

LONDON -- Powerful winds lashed Britain and northwestern Europe as a storm swept through the region, killing at least 24 people Sunday and causing major travel disruptions.

Falling trees killed six people in Britain, where winds gusted above 150 kilometers per hour. Five died in Germany, four in northern France, one in Switzerland and two in the Netherlands. Two others were blown into the North Sea and believed drowned.

The winds fatally slammed a 13-year-old rollerskater into a truck in Belgium and a man repairing a roof died when he fell off his ladder. Media reported two Belgians dead during a diving outing in the southern Netherlands.

The gales uprooted trees, ripped off roofs and played havoc with rail, air, sea and road travel.

Britain's Meteorological Office said severe gales of up to 130 kilometers per hour lashed England and Wales. Winds were nearly as bad on the continent, with gusts of up to 150 kilometers per hour reported in the Netherlands and northern France and predicted in Germany. Thousands of people across England and Wales were without power and police said there were many reports of structural damage to buildings.

In Germany, winds reached 100 kilometers per hour and stronger gusts were forecast. The winds forced the cancellation of a cross-country skiing World Cup event in the western German city of Duesseldorf, after cameras and advertising banners blew onto the course.

In the Netherlands, the storm disrupted train and highway traffic and caused major delays at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport.

The Belgian government urged people to stay inside. Part of the roof of Antwerp's 10,000-seat Sports Palace was blown off, as were chimneys and tiles on countless homes around the country.

Britain's road, rail, air and sea transportation were all disrupted. Many trains were canceled because of damaged power lines, and police warned motorists not to drive unless necessary.