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Probe into Russia hailstorm deaths

Russian authorities have opened an investigation into the deaths of two children during a severe hailstorm in Siberia.

Two young girls aged three and four died on Saturday in the lakeside town of Bredsk, not far from the large Siberian city of Novosibirsk, a statement from the Investigative Committee said.

The two girls died after sustaining traumatic brain injuries when a tree fell on their tent, where they were taking shelter from the storm along with their families.

Videos have surfaced online showing beach-goers in Novosibirsk huddling desperately under umbrellas as cherry-sized hailstones pelt them mercilessly.

Weather has been unusually extreme across much of Russia this summer, with snow hitting parts of central Russia that rarely see freezing temperatures in summer.

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