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Roads, train services disrupted as Europe weathers snowstorm

Roads, train services disrupted as Europe weathers snowstorm

DPA
Munich
A BLANKETING of snow that shows no signs of stopping over Central Europe disrupted everything from traffic to funeral services on Thursday, as parts of Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic effectively shut down.
At least eight weather-related deaths have been reported in Austria since the weekend. One child was reported dead in Bavaria on Thursday, presumably by a tree that fell under the weight of the snow.
On Thursday, mountain rescuers there reported that they saved nine winter tourists from Hungary, Poland, Russia and Ukraine who had become stuck in the snow at the Zell am See resort. The Eastern Europeans had ventured off-piste despite avalanche warnings.
Meanwhile, hundreds of drivers had to spend the night in their vehicles after becoming trapped on a highway in southern Germany amid a major snowstorm having its way with the region.
The drivers were trapped from about 8 pm on Wednesday (1900 GMT) until about 5am on Thursday.
Train passengers were not spared, with much train service disrupted across the country’s south and east.
Dozens of centimetres of snow have already fallen, with the country’s weather service promising nearly non-stop snow until the middle of next week.
Train officials blamed fallen trees for the disruptions, but noted that they had kept most major stretches free.
The mass of snow has knocked down trees across the region, blocking roads and cutting off some communities. Authorities have also warned of avalanche risks. Most schools are closed.

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