Moscow reports 13 deaths after freak winds

Weather service warns of another storm as Russian capital deals with fallen trees and structures
A violent storm has swept through Moscow, leaving 13 people dead and dozens injured as freak winds toppled hundreds of trees and brought down other structures.

“Due to storm winds hitting Moscow, 50 people have asked for medical attention up to now,” a spokesperson for the City Hall’s health department told AFP. “Eleven were fatally injured.”

Two more deaths were reported when the investigative committee of the Moscow region said an 11-year-old girl and a 57-year-old man were killed, one by a falling tree and the other by a flying fence.

Earlier investigators said the victims were mostly killed by falling trees and structures such as a bus stop. Investigators were looking at the scenes of the accidents and questioning witnesses.

The Moscow mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, expressed condolences for those who died. “Several hundred trees were felled,” he wrote on his official Twitter. “We are taking necessary measures to deal with the consequences.”

The scene of a fatality after a bus stop fell over in Moscow’s Kirovogradskaya Street.

Moscow emergency services dispatched units to remove the felled trees but had no information about any serious material damages, a spokesman told AFP by phone.

The weather caused delays at Moscow’s airports and the express train to Vnukovo airport had to halt its service as workers removed a tree from the line.

The director of Russia’s Gidromedtsentr weather service, Roman Vilfand, told Russian agencies that wind speeds reached 22 metres per second during the hurricane and that another storm could hit the capital overnight on Monday.