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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Northern Europe Rocked by Storm, At Least 7 Dead

LONDON -- At least seven people were killed Thursday as gale-force winds lashed northern Europe, with helicopters forced to pluck stranded sailors from the storm-tossed English Channel.

Britain was the worst hit, with four people killed as winds gusted up to 159 kilometers per hour causing travel chaos.

Three motorists were killed, and a woman died after a wall collapsed on her in high winds.

Rescue services winched 26 sailors to safety after they were forced to abandon their container ship when it began sinking in stormy seas in the Channel.

Two people died in the Netherlands when an uprooted tree crushed their car, the Dutch news agency ANP reported.

Winds gusting over 100 kilometers per hour and heavy rains forced Dutch flight, rail and school cancellations, and caused injuries in the worst storm in years.

The national crisis center advised people to stay indoors. More than 30 accidents were reported.

Strong winds damaged the arched roof of Amsterdam's Central Station, with falling glass prompting authorities to ban passengers from platforms and stop trains from entering the station, a national rail service spokeswoman said.

The weather also disrupted shipping at Rotterdam's port, Europe's busiest, and caused an oil spill at one of its terminals when a drifting container ship bumped into an oil jetty.

Germans were told to stay indoors and many schools across the country closed early as a rare hurricane bore down on them, seriously disrupting air and rail travel.