Firefighter dies while trying to rescue people from flooding in Bavaria, Germany

A firefighter has died while trying to rescue people trapped by flooding in southern Germany.

The 42-year-old was in an inflatable boat with three colleagues on Saturday when the vessel capsized in Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm, Bavaria.

His body was recovered early on Sunday, officials said.

Two people are also missing - including a 22-year-old firefighter in Offingen and a 43-year-old woman in Schrobenhausen.

The woman is feared to be trapped in a flooded cellar, and rescue workers have been unable to reach her so far, according to German media.

It came as hundreds of people were rescued in the region after floodwaters cut off some areas on Saturday.

The deluge is expected to continue throughout Sunday.

Around 800 soldiers have been deployed to help deal with the flooding, the German defence ministry announced on X. They are providing support in Bavaria with sandbags, blankets and vehicles.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz wrote on X: "We owe our thanks and respect to the rescue workers and helpers who are battling the consequences of the floods in many places.

"I am saddened by the death of a firefighter in Pfaffenhofen. My thoughts are with his family and colleagues."

The heavy rain also caused a train to derail near the town of Schwaebisch Gmund, around 30 miles (50km) east of Stuttgart, on Saturday night.

A landslide knocked carriages off a section of track, but none of the 185 passengers on board were injured.

Train services throughout the region have been hit by widespread delays and cancellations as a result of the conditions, while there has also been major disruption on the roads.

Two dams have also broken in the region and nearly 20 schools have been shut.

Mr Scholz will visit affected areas on Monday.

Vice chancellor and economy minister Robert Habeck, of Germany's Greens Party, said climate change was causing the number of severe weather events in the country to increase.

He told broadcaster n-tv: "Natural disasters have always accompanied mankind. What we are seeing is that the frequency of these events is increasing significantly.

"Record floods occur every few years... record rainfall every few years."

Read more from Sky News:
Israeli protesters call on PM to accept ceasefire deal
North Korea sends more balloons into South Korea
De Niro stripped of award after Trump rant

Heavy rain has also hit other areas of Europe in recent days.

Three friends, a man and two women aged in their early 20s, are feared dead after being swept away by flash floodwater in northern Italy.

Local media reported that the trio were last seen embracing on Friday as waters rapidly rose around them next to the Natisone River near Udine.

The bodies of two people were found nearby on Sunday, while the search for the third person continues.