Page last updated at 20:54 GMT, Saturday, 30 January 2010

Snow causes German traffic chaos with three deaths


Heavy snow hits Germany

Heavy snow and high winds have caused traffic chaos across Germany with at least three deaths reported nationwide.

Conditions closed some motorways and caused long traffic jams on many others.

North Rhine-Westphalia, which includes the cities of Cologne and Dusseldorf, recorded 300 accidents on Friday night and Saturday morning.

Public transport in some areas has been shut down and police have advised people not to travel if possible.

The traffic chaos in North Rhine-Westphalia led to one death and 40 more people injured, while in Bavaria another two people were killed on frozen roads.

Flights at some airports were cancelled or delayed.

Snow in Cologne, Germany
With many roads almost impassable, some Germans used alternative transport

Sport hit

Bus services in the northern city of Rostock were suspended and sports fixtures cancelled after 30cm (12in) of snow fell in one night.

Police warned motorists that if they got stranded they might have to wait hours for help.

"People should just stay at home," a spokesman said.

But despite the weather, some intrepid Germans were determined to enjoy the weekend.

In Hamburg hundreds of families skated across the frozen Alster Lake, which forecasters said was a once in a decade phenomenon.

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