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Deadly storm batters northern Europe

LONDON - A powerful Atlantic storm packing hurricane-force winds claimed several lives in northern Europe on Monday and caused widespread power and public transport disruptions.

The storm devastated parts of Britain, where officials reported gusts of up to 105 miles per hour. Fallen trees caused hundreds of thousands of power outages and blocked roads and railways.

Some 130 flights were cancelled at London's Heathrow airport, Europe's busiest.

Two people died west of London following a gas explosion that was likely the result of a tree falling on their house. Two others died when trees fell on their vehicles.

Falling trees also killed two in the Netherlands. A roof tile fell on a man in Denmark, killing him.

Across Germany, four people died after trees hit their car. On Sunday, a man died on a lake near Cologne after his boat capsized in the severe weather, while large swells likely also caused a fisherman in western Germany to drown.

A French woman in her 50s was believed to have drowned on the island of Belle-Ile, off the coast of Brittany.

Electricity workers were racing to reconnect tens of thousands of households in northern France, while Swedish authorities warned of blackouts.

The storm snarled planes, trains and ferries.

In addition to Heathrow, there were delays and cancellations at Gatwick, Stansted, Luton and Southend airports. Flights in the German cities of Dusseldorf and Hamburg were also scrapped.

Train services across southern Britain, from where many London workers commute, were also down. A railroad manager said service would be restored at the earliest by Tuesday.

The Eurostar train service between London and the European continent was also disrupted because high winds meant the sub-Channel train could not move at top speed.

A ferry from Newcastle in Britain with 1,000 passengers could not dock at the Dutch port of Ijmuiden as planned, leaving the ship to ride out the storm on the water.

After being suspended for several hours, ferry services between Dover and the French town of Calais had resumed Monday afternoon.

In Denmark and Sweden, several key bridges were closed due to high winds.

Train service in parts of northern Germany and Denmark was halted.

The storm was named St Jude after the patron saint of lost causes, whose feast day was Monday.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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