Germany mopping up after storm that killed at least 10

Germany's national railway slowly began to restore services on Friday after nearly all trains were stopped by a fierce storm with hurricane-force winds that left at least 10 people dead and injured scores of others.

Berlin's new main train station, opened last May, was completely shut down after a two-ton girder fell from the side of the glass facade onto an outdoor staircase. The train station was evacuated after the beam plummeted 40 meters (130 feet) Thursday night, but there were no injuries.

Virtually the entire national railway system was shut down during the storm, with trees over many tracks and overhead power lines down.

"We've never had such a situation in Germany," Deutsche Bahn CEO Hartmut Mehdorn said.

Subways, trams and buses were largely back in service by Friday morning, but only a few long-distance trains were running.

"Bringing the service back is like a puzzle it goes bit by bit and we're now at the first pieces," railway spokesman Martin Walden said.

Track-clearing work was expected to last at least through the day, and passengers were advised to cancel all unnecessary trips.

The German Weather Service said the storm was the strongest to hit the country since 1999. The highest winds were felt in the southern state of Bavaria, where gusts of up to 202 kph (126 mph) were recorded.

Most of the 10 killed in storm-related incidents were motorists, but they also included two firefighters one hit by a falling tree and the other dying of a heart attack and an 18-month old infant in Munich hit by a terrace door that was ripped from its hinges, reports AP.

The storm caused the cancellation of dozens of flights around the country and even more delays and difficulties were expected to persist Friday.

Schools around much of the country, which had closed early on Thursday, resumed classes, though those in Bavaria and parts of Hesse and Lower Saxony remained shut down, largely because of problems transporting students.

In all, more than two dozen died in the storm across northern Europe, including 10 in the United Kingdom and four in the Netherlands, while travel was disrupted for tens of thousands.

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