Storm causes injuries and thwarts pilots

Switzerland has been battered by winds gusting up to 174km/h that uprooted trees, killed animals and injured at least four people, including two children.

This content was published on February 10, 2009 - 17:49

Storm "Quinten" produced the strongest winds in the Bernese Oberland, where gusts of 174km/h raked the Kleine Scheidegg on the Jungfrau mountain.

French-speaking Switzerland was also badly affected with gales reaching 148km/h on the Moléson peak.

Two six-year-old girls were injured in canton Fribourg when a tree fell on their kindergarten class during a walk through town. One suffered leg fractures and had to be taken to hospital. The other suffered a concussion.

Four cows were also killed in the canton when strong winds caused an electrical power line to fall into water trough.

In the centre of the country winds of up to 120km/h were recorded at Bantiger near the capital, Bern, and 100km/h at Basel and in the Ajoie region of northwestern Switzerland.

Planes travelling into Zurich airport also had troubles landing in the storm. An airport spokesman said 27 planes trying to land between 6am and 3pm either had to make another pass or flew on to another airport.

In the evening a cold front expected to last for several days will bring cooler temperatures and snow at lower altitudes.

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