The storm struck late Monday
At least 22 children were hospitalized
A fierce storm whipped through Moscow on Monday, killing 16 people, toppling thousands of trees and damaging several buildings, officials said.
Eleven people were killed in Moscow and three others elsewhere in the region, said Svetlana Petrenko, spokeswoman for the Russian Investigative Committee. It’s not clear where the other two victims died.
State-run news agency Tass reported that 168 people were injured in the storm – the deadliest in years – and 146 were hospitalized, according to Alexei Khripun, who leads Moscow’s department of health.
Of the 108 people who remain in the hospital, 22 are children. Tass said the injuries range from cuts and bruises to head and spine injuries.
“I can’t remember within my recollection any other such calamity with the number of dead and injured as big as this one,” Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin told Tass, adding that the families of those killed will receive 1 million rubles ($17,760) each.
CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward said most of the damage appeared to come from strong straight-line winds, with gusts measuring 101 kph (63 mph).
According to Sobyanin, the storm uprooted about 3,500 trees. Transportation was affected in the capital and more than 50 flights were delayed in the region, Tass reported.
The surrounding region endured similar damage, with 3,000 trees blown down, 322 cars damaged and the roofs of 42 houses and maternity clinics sustaining damage, Tass said.
In 1998, a strong wind storm hit Moscow, killing as many as 11 people.
Tim Lister reported from Moscow, with James Masters writing in London. Emma Burrows contributed to this report.