By Sonya Dowsett

MADRID
FOUR children were killed when the roof of a sports centre collapsed during high winds in Sant Boi near Barcelona yesterday, emergency services said.
Four adults died elsewhere in northern Spain as high winds battered the region and southwest France for a second day, cutting power, disrupting flights and blocking roads.

Up to 30 children were inside the building when it collapsed, local authorities said. Catalonian emergency services said four children had died and nine people had been injured.

A policeman was killed by a falling tree in Galicia, where winds peaked at 200 kileomtres per hour, in the early hours of yesterday, a police spokesman said. A 51-year-old man was killed by a falling wall in Alicante, local authorities said.

A 52-year-old woman was also killed as a wall collapsed on her as she walked down a street in Barcelona, newspapers said and another man was killed by a falling tree, media reported.

In France, gales cut power supplies to more than one million homes and closed roads, railways and airports. Local authorities in the Landes region said one person was killed and one seriously injured when a tree fell on a car.

French Agriculture Minister Michel Barnier said the storm was “the worst since 1999” and said France would call on the European Union to help fund reconstruction efforts once the extent of the damage becomes clear.

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