Germany: 1 Dead, 1 Missing After Flood Brings Down Bridge

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
August 17, 2021 Updated: August 17, 2021

BERLIN—German authorities said Tuesday rescue teams have recovered the body of a woman who was swept off a bridge by floods in Bavaria, German news agency dpa reported.

They are still searching for a second person who was also swept off the bridge by sudden floods in southern Germany the previous day. Eight other people caught up in the flooding were rescued uninjured.

Heavy, sudden rains on Monday afternoon had turned the Hammersbach creek in the Valley of Hell near the town of Grainau into floods which tore down a wooden bridge, sweeping down two people into the water, German news agency dpa reported. The other people were caught by the water or cut off from their paths by the flood elsewhere in the steep valley.

More than 160 helpers and helicopters were involved in the rescue missions. The body of the woman, who was not identified, was pulled out of the water on Tuesday morning, local police said.

In addition to the eight people rescued from the floods Monday, authorities said they helped 108 people who had to spend the night in cottages higher up on the slopes of the valley because of the flood. The hikers were led down the valley Tuesday by mountaineers, the Bavarian Red Cross said. None of them had been injured, dpa reported.

Emergency teams of the water rescue service search the Hammersbach and the shore area near the Hoellentalklamm gorge in Grainau, Germany, on Aug. 17, 2021. (Lennart Preiss/dpa via AP)

The Höllentalklamm, or Valley of Hell, is a popular destination for hikers from across the country and abroad.

Severe weather conditions also led to a state of emergency in northern Germany, where a tornado hit the village of Grossheide near the North Sea coast, late Monday and destroyed more than 50 homes, according to dpa. Police said nobody was injured, but several homes were so badly destroyed that they were no longer inhabitable.

Across Germany’s southern border, in Austria, at least four people were injured by floods and mud, dozens of people were rescued from cars, and firefighters were called out hundreds of times to remove toppled trees and pump out flooded basements, Austrian news agency APA reported.

In the community of Dienten in the Pinzgau region, a bus with two people inside and a car with one woman inside were swept into a creek by a mud avalanche, according to APA. All three people were rescued by firefighters but suffered injuries.

A fourth person was injured in Guntramsdorf when falling during clean-up efforts after heavy rains and floodings there.

Last month, more than 200 people died in deadly floods in western Germany.

By Kirsten Grieshaber

The Associated Press
The Associated Press