One day after the devastating tornado, the authorities in Paderborn gave an overview of the damage. They criticized onlookers who would have hindered rescue operations. Prime Minister Wüst has meanwhile announced his visit.
According to Mayor Michael Dreier, the tornado that swept through Paderborn on Friday caused massive destruction in several parts of the city with enormous force. “In Riemeke Park, the trees are literally snapped like matches. Countless roofs have been completely designed with the pans. Many panes have been smashed by the wind,” said CDU politician Dreier at a press conference on Saturday. According to the authorities, the tornado caused extensive destruction on Friday in a corridor from west to east that is about 300 meters wide and five kilometers long through the middle of the city.
In the heart of the city, where the new central bus station is being built, traffic lights have been broken like matches. Trees fell on a bus, fortunately no one was seriously injured. The tornado destroyed countless roofs and panes around the headwaters of the Pader and made apartments uninhabitable.
“It was, and still is, an unimaginable image,” he said. The roof of the Liborianum was badly damaged. The roof tiles would have “eaten” into the plaster of neighboring houses. In an industrial area, companies were completely destroyed. According to him, the tornado caused crash barriers to fly through the area like shredded paper.
Eyewitness videos like the one below documented the level of devastation:
Criticism of onlookers, praise for those who are willing to help in Paderborn
The great willingness of the population to help was generally praised by the authorities. But there was also criticism of citizens who hindered the clean-up and rescue work. “People’s willingness to help was immense,” said Paderborn’s chief police officer, Ulrich Ettler. “Unfortunately, there were also some citizens who were so bold as to disregard barrier tapes and hinder the work of the rescue services.”
It happened again and again that individuals wanted to break through the barriers. The clean-up work would still take some time: “I can only appeal again: stick to the barriers, keep escape routes clear. Onlookers have no business in the city center,” said Ettler.
According to Ettler, the main police building in Paderborn was also badly damaged. “The office building is in the center of the destructive path. This tornado hit us directly. There are a number of broken trees there. A roof of the police headquarters has been removed.” A police officer was slightly injured during an operation when he and colleagues tried to rescue two people from a jammed vehicle. A tree crashed through the windshield of a fire truck, leaving the two occupants unharmed.
According to the city, there were more than 200 operations by the Paderborn fire brigade with over 400 emergency services due to the storm. There were a total of 43 injuries, including 13 seriously and 1 seriously injured. According to Dreier, Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia Hendrik Wüst and Minister of the Interior Herbert Reul have announced their visit to Paderborn.
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