Flood knocks down German bridge, sweeps people away

BERLIN (AP) — Dozens of German rescue teams were searching Monday for missing people who witnesses said were tossed into a river in Bavaria’s Valley of Hell when a sudden flood tore down a bridge they were standing on, the German news agency dpa reported.

Police said rescue operations with about 150 police officers, firefighters and mountaineers were underway and at least eight people had been pulled out of the water in the valley known as Höllentalklamm near Germany’s tallest mountain, Zugspitze.

“One has to assume that more people are still missing,” spokesman Stefan Sonntag from the Upper Bavaria police headquarters told dpa. The agency later reported that it was likely two more people were missing Monday night.

He said witnesses told them that several people were carried away by the floods when the bridge suddenly collapsed after heavy rain on Monday afternoon.

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

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

Climate scientists say there’s little doubt that climate change from the burning of coal, oil and natural gas is driving more extreme weather events — such as heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods and storms — as the planet warms.

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