The Latest: French police detain 2 in flooded campsite probe
PARIS (AP) — The Latest on floods and poor weather in Europe (all times local):
A French prosecutor says police have detained two members of a German association that operates a campsite in southern France where the danger of flooding prompted evacuations and a man was reported missing.
Nimes Prosecutor Eric Maurel told French broadcaster BFM TV the two were being questioned on Friday “because the campsite was set up in a flood-risk area despite warnings (from authorities).”
Maurel says they are being investigated on allegations of “endangering life of others” and causing “unintentional injuries.”
Some 119 children, many of them from Germany, were evacuated from the campsite in Saint-Julien-de-Peyrolas campsite on Thursday night as rivers and streams overflowed after heavy rain.
French authorities are still looking for a 67-year-old man, reportedly a German citizen serving as the campsite’s monitor, who was reported missing and feared swept away with his camping vehicle.
Some 1,600 people in all were evacuated Thursday in three regions of southern France due to storms.
A British man vacationing in the southern French region of Gard has told a British broadcaster that a campsite and restaurants were completely destroyed by flash flooding on Thursday.
Tom Bryan told Britain’s Sky News from Saint-Andre-de-Roquepertuis on Friday that a “campsite that is close to the village where I’m staying has totally been washed away... restaurants gone.”
Bryan said his wife “saw a whole caravan float down the river.”
He says the mayor told evacuees there was “150 milliliters of rain in two hours.”
Bryan said: “It all happened so fast...such a long period of very hot, dry weather followed by that enormous storm. It was just very unusual circumstances.”
Some 1,600 people were evacuated Thursday in three regions of southern France due to storms and flash flooding.
The weather in affected regions was relatively calm Friday.
A policeman in northern Denmark says high winds from a storm have apparently flung a metal tent peg into a camper’s throat as he was packing up.
Police spokesman Henrik Nielsen tells public broadcaster DR that the peg likely flew through the air Friday morning when the 61-year-old man pulled a guy line to pack his tent.
The broadcaster said the man, who had taken part in a motorcycle event at a camping ground in Thy, northwestern Denmark, was flown by helicopter to a hospital.
Nielsen told DR that the man was in “a serious condition.”
Parts of northern Germany saw storms Thursday evening and overnight after a long spell of hot, dry weather, with winds up to 140 kph (87 mph) measured on the country’s coast. The gusts brought down trees in some places and there was significant disruption to transport.
Germany’s railway operator, Deutsche Bahn, closed several routes in the north on Thursday night as the storms approached. On Friday, it said there was still no long-distance service between Hamburg and Hannover or between Hamburg and Bremen, and some disruption on other routes. The Berlin-Amsterdam route was disrupted by storm damage in the Osnabrueck area.
Spectators at the European Athletics Championships in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium were asked to stay put as a storm approached late Thursday evening, but were quickly able to leave.
Norway’s Water Resources and Energy Directorate has declared an orange alert on a mountain in the southern part of the country because of landslide fear with expected heavy rain as storms arrived in northern Europe.
The Mannen mountain, 350 kilometers (215 miles) northwest of Oslo, made news last year because of an imminent rockslide risk. The red alert level, the Directorate’s highest, was maintained for weeks, and 11 people living in nearby houses were protectively evacuated. There was no landslide however.
Across Norway by Friday, ferry companies have canceled crossings, while authorities have warned hikers of fierce winds in the mountains and called on people to securely fasten their small boats, tents and similar gear.
Gusts were expected along Denmark’s North Sea coast and warnings were issued that lighter vehicles should not cross bridges.
A top military official in the Gard, the French region that was hardest hit by violent storms and flooding, has told French media that all children were successfully rescued.
Some 119 children, many of them from Germany, were evacuated from Saint-Julien-de-Peyrolas campsite Thursday night.
On Friday, the region’s chief gendarme Colonel Laurent Haas told BFM-TV “we are certain that among the children, everyone has been recovered.”
He said 46 adults had been rescued but that search teams were still looking for a missing 67-year-old, reportedly a German citizen serving as the campsite monitor. However, he said authorities were still “not certain he was actually present at the moment of the events.”
Some 1,600 people were evacuated Thursday in three regions of southern France due to storms.