Dozens injured as suspected tornado and storms hit western Germany

About 40 people were injured, 10 of them seriously, when a suspected tornado swept through the German city of Paderborn on Friday, as storms rocked the west of the country.

Footage on social media showed the distinctive spinning cyclone clouds of a tornado throwing debris into the air, although Germany’s weather service did not immediately confirm a tornado had occurred.

Police said up to 40 people were injured, 10 of them seriously, in Paderborn, a town of about 150,000 people halfway between Frankfurt and Hamburg. Rail and road transport were disrupted across the region.

Roof damage to a construction machinery dealership in Paderborn is seen following a suspected tornado that swept through the town on Friday. (Lino Mirgeler/dpa/Associated Press)

In the nearby town of Hellinghausen, footage shared on social media showed a steeple had been ripped from the roof of a church, its remains strewn across the cemetery.

Police released images showing trees felled or split in two, as well as roofs that had been blown away with tiles by the winds in Paderborn.

“The tarps and insulation were blown away for miles,” police said in a statement. ‚ÄúCountless roofs are uncovered or damaged. Many trees still rest on destroyed cars.

An uprooted tree is seen in Lippstadt, Germany on Friday. (Friso Gentsch/dpa/Associated Press)

They asked residents to stay at home as the German weather service warned the stormy weather would continue.

Meteorologists said the extreme weather was caused by warm air from Africa meeting relatively cooler air from northern Europe.