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Four boys killed in roof collapse as storms batter Spain, France

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: 16 dead as stormy weather hits Spain, France, with winds of up to 99 mph
  • Dead include four boys killed when sports hall near Barcelona collapsed killed
  • Airports in northern Spain close, Barcelona-Madrid rail service affected
  • Electricite de France: Power lost to 1.2 million homes
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By Al Goodman
Madrid Bureau Chief
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MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- Hurricane-force winds have swept across Spain and France, leaving 16 people dead, authorities and media have reported.

A man turns away from the storm Saturday in western France. High winds have lashed Spain and France.

A police officer inspects the site of the roof collapse Saturday near Barcelona, Spain.

Four boys were killed and nine other people, including two adults, were injured Saturday when the roof collapsed at a sports center outside Barcelona, authorities said.

Eight other people were killed in separate incidents elsewhere in Spain and four in France

The sports complex collapsed shortly after 11 a.m. (5 a.m. ET) in Sant Boi de Llobregat, a suburb just west of the city, near the Prat airport.

The boys who died, who were aged nine- to 12-years old, were among 17 youngsters playing baseball outside when strong winds began blowing. The adults took 11 of the children into the building, authorities said. Six boys remained outside.

The winds caused the metal roof and part of the building's concrete siding to collapse on those inside, where the deaths and injuries occurred, a spokeswoman for the Catalan regional government's fire brigade told CNN. Video Watch rescuers dig through the rubble »

The six boys who stayed outside were not hurt. Earlier official reports that said they had been injured were wrong.

Catalan Regional President Jose Montilla and other top officials, along with emergency services, rushed to the complex, an aide to Montilla said.

Emergency workers thought they had rescued all survivors and recovered all bodies from the building by early afternoon, the CNN+ reporter said.

Spanish media have reported winds of up to 99 mph in parts of Catalonia, whose capital is Barcelona. Strong winds have also had much of northern Spain on alert.

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The winds would signify a Category 2 hurricane, which has wind speeds that range from 96 to 110 mph, according to the Saffir-Simpson scale.

The strong winds led officials to put much of northern Spain on alert. Residents were advised to stay inside.

Various airports in northern Spain suffered delays, as did the high-speed train service between Madrid and Barcelona, authorities said.

A Civil Guard officer in northwestern Spain died when a tree fell on him as he tried to clear other fallen trees, and a woman in Barcelona was crushed by a wall that caved in.

A fire brigade spokeswoman also said that two people were killed by falling trees in separate incidents near the city.

A 73-year-old woman in the Spanish province of Burgos was killed when a door slammed into her, and a sailor who was part of a crew rescued from a ship about 70 miles off the northwestern Spanish coast died after being taken to the city of La Corunya, state and local media reported.

The severe weather, which began Friday night, has also pummeled southwestern France, knocking out power for about 1.2 million homes, according to Electricite de France.

Regions hit included Pyrenees-Atlantiques, Hautes-Pyrenees, Gers, Haute-Garonne, Gironde, Lot-et-Garonne, Aude and Pyrenees-Orientales, officials said, with fallen trees and damaged roads hindering access.

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On Saturday, two drivers in the city of Les Landes were killed when heavy winds downed trees that fell on their cars. A 78-year-old man also died after being struck by debris near his home, police said.

In Gironde, a 73-year-old woman who was on a respiratory machine died after her home lost power.

CNN's Per Nyberg and Sujatha Samy-Randy contributed to this report.

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