Germany: 1 dead, 1 missing after flood brings down bridge

Aug 16, 2021, 12:53 PM | Updated: Aug 17, 2021, 5:49 am

BERLIN (AP) — German rescue teams have recovered the body of a woman who was swept off a bridge by floods in Bavaria, the German news agency dpa reported Tuesday.

They are still searching for a second person person who was also swept off the bridge by sudden floods in southern Germany on Monday. Eight other people caught up in the same flooding were rescued uninjured.

Heavy, sudden rains on Monday afternoon turned the Hammersbach creek in the Valley of Hell near the town of Grainau into a torrent that tore down a wooden bridge, sweeping two people into the water, dpa reported. The other people were caught by the raging water or cut off from their hiking paths by the flood elsewhere in the steep valley.

More than 160 helpers and helicopters were involved in the rescue missions. The body of the woman, who was not identified, was pulled out of the water on Tuesday, police said.

In addition to the eight people rescued from the floods Monday, authorities helped 108 others who had to spend the night in cottages higher up on the slopes of the valley because of the flood. The hikers were led down the valley Tuesday by mountaineers, the Bavarian Red Cross said. None were injured, dpa reported.

The Höllentalklamm, or Valley of Hell, is a popular destination for hikers from across the country and abroad.

Severe weather conditions also led to a state of emergency in northern Germany, where a tornado hit the village of Grossheide near the North Sea coast late Monday and destroyed more than 50 homes, according to dpa. Police said nobody was injured, but several homes were destroyed.

Across Germany’s southern border in Austria, at least four people were injured by floods and mudslides, dozens of people were rescued from cars and firefighters were called out hundreds of times to remove toppled trees and pump out flooded basements, the Austrian news agency APA reported.

In the community of Dienten in Austria’s Pinzgau region, a bus with two people and a car with one woman were both swept into a creek by a mud avalanche, according to APA. All three were injured but were rescued by firefighters. A fourth person was injured in Guntramsdorf when falling during cleanup efforts after heavy rains and floods.

Last month, more than 200 people died in deadly floods in western Germany.

Climate scientists say there’s little doubt that climate change from the burning of coal, oil and natural gas is driving more extreme weather events — such as heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods and storms — as the planet warms.

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Follow all AP stories on climate change developments at https://apnews.com/hub/climate-change

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Germany: 1 dead, 1 missing after flood brings down bridge