Kitesurfer killed as ‘mini tornado’ smashes him into seafront restaurant window in France

19 June 2022, 16:36

One person died and several others were injured
One person died and several others were injured. Picture: Getty

By Asher McShane

A kitesurfer died after a freak ‘mini tornado’ picked him up and threw him into a restaurant window at a beach in France.

The surfer, 31, died instantly after the gust struck a beach in Villers-sur-Mer in Normandy, France.

Five other people were injured after the incident on the beach yesterday. Local media described the gust as a ‘mini tornado’ that sent hundreds of beach-goers running for safety.

Local mayor Thierry Granturco told Franceinfo: “It blew more and more violently and it ended with a mini tornado.

“We had communication with Météo France which informed us that they had not been able to anticipate this kind of mini tornado.

"We knew that we were going to have strong winds, they were announced at the very end of the evening, even in at night, but we didn't think they would be so violent and at 8:30 pm."

He posted on Facebook after the incident: “My thoughts are firstly with the family of the deceased, devastated, whom we escorted and accommodated in emergency as psychologically unable to return home.

"A family of secondary residents, I have been present in Villers for two generations and I share their pain very sincerely.

"My thoughts then go out to the injured, hospitalized, and their families, some of whom also had been urgently housed from the Parisian region.

"And finally they go to all those people who are being taken care of by the psych cell for having witnessed a particularly violent death.

"I want to thank our firefighters from all over the country for caring for the injured and supporting our people, supported by our police including their Maritime Security platoon.

"Thanks also to the civil security services whose intervention was valuable.

"But I also want to thank the city services for their responsiveness, availability and commitment."