A man who escaped unharmed picks up his gloves after his scooter was hit by a crashing tree uprooted by heavy winds in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
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Violent gales battered northern Europe and beyond Thursday, snapping air and train links and leaving six people dead.Germany halted all long-distance rail traffic for at least a day, while numerous domestic flights were scrapped as hurricane-force winds lashed the country.A 59-year-old man was killed instantly when a tree fell on him in North Rhine-Westphalia state, German police said, as wind speeds attained a high of 203 kilometers an hour at the Brocken – the highest peak of northern Germany.In the Netherlands, which had borne the brunt of the severe winter storms earlier Thursday, two people were crushed by falling trees as bitter winds came off the North Sea to hit the low-lying country with full force.Amsterdam's Schiphol airport, one of the continent's busiest travel hubs, was forced to briefly cancel all flights as winds gusted up to 140 kilometers an hour in some areas.The Dutch national traffic service the VID said over two dozen large trucks had been toppled by the gale-force winds.
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