Tornado injures 19 in Luxembourg as storms batter Europe

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A tornado ripped across southwest Luxembourg on Friday leaving at least 19 people injured,  two of them severely, while 15 soccer players were injured by a lightning strike in southern Germany as unseasonal storms hit northern Europe late Friday. 

The tornado in the southwestern Luxembourg communities of Pettingen and Kaerjeng left a path of destruction that made up to 100 homes uninhabitable, local media reported Saturday. Debris and damaged cars were left strewn around the area, while at least four power poles were destroyed.

In eastern France the tornado was less severe, but local media there reported that dozens of roofs were destroyed and cars were damaged in the communities of Longwy and Herserange. Tornadoes are a very rare weather condition in Europe, which is more typically hit by gales.

With winds reaching  80 miles per hour, according to the meteorological office, the tornado smashed through towns near the borders with Belgium and France on Friday evening.

Footage posted on social media showed the swirling winds towering above homes and roads and tearing up roofs and tree branches high into the air.

The Luxembourg government, which released the toll, has set up a crisis unit.



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