World Bulletin / News Desk
Winter storm Eleanor swept across Europe on Wednesday, bringing death, damage and disruption, snarling transport networks and cutting power to tens of thousands of people.
In France, a 21-year-old skier was killed by a falling tree at Morillon in the Alps where dangerous conditions forced the closure of several resorts.
More than a dozen others were injured by the storm across France, four seriously, civil defence spokesman Michael Bernier told AFP as the country was lashed by what meteorologists termed the strongest winds in eight years.
On the French Mediterranean island of Corsica, where gusts of up to 140 kilometres per hour (85 miles per hour) were recorded, winds fanned the flames of forest and scrub fires started by downed power lines, leaving three people injured.
At Lenk in central Switzerland, eight people were hurt when a violent gust of wind overturned a railway carriage while one person was injured by a falling tree in the southern Dutch village of Heesch.
Heavy winds forced authorities to close the airports in Strasbourg and Basel-Mulhouse on France's border with Germany and Switzerland before they were reopened shortly after midday.
At Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport, most departures were delayed Wednesday morning and a handful of flights had to be rerouted before the winds eased.
The weather wreaked havoc with train services and motorway access in several French regions, the result of fallen trees, electrical lines and other debris.
About 225,000 homes across France were without electricity, while "particularly intense" flooding was expected on the Atlantic coasts.
The Eiffel Tower had to turn away tourists in the morning because of the gusts before reopening later.
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