Page last updated at 11:57 GMT, Thursday, 8 January 2009

In pictures: Europe's big chill

A man removes snow from his car in Milan 7 January 2009

Much of Europe has been thrown into chaos as a record chill grips the region, claiming at least 17 lives, wreaking havoc on roads and shutting down airports. Here a Milanese struggles to free his car.

Snow falls in southern France, 7 Jan 2009

The chill claimed seven more lives by Wednesday, adding to a toll of at least 10 dead from previous days. The south of France is blanketed in snow.

A man stands next to frozen gas equipment in Hajduszoboszlo, 200km east of Budapest, 7 January 2009

Fears deepened after Russia shut off all gas supplies to Europe through Ukraine, leaving 12 countries short of fuel in freezing conditions. Hungary is among those hit.

A man looks at icicles hanging from a waterfall in Bad Urach, Germany, 7 Jan 2009

The mercury has plunged to record lows in parts of Germany. A weather station in the eastern state of Saxony said the coldest spot was -27.7C (-18.4F).

A man skies in Marseille, southern France, 7 January 2009

Some 40cm of snow fell in just a few hours in France's normally sunny Marseille region, closing the airport, snarling traffic and disrupting trains, but some residents enjoyed the unusual weather.

Snow-covered planes at Malpensa airport in Milan 7 January 2009

Flights were cancelled at Milan's two airports, as northern Italy was blanketed with snow, closing several schools in the area for the second day in a row.

A woman cooks on a makeshift stove in Belovo, south of the Bulgarian capital Sofia, 7 January 2009

People in the Balkans were especially badly hit. In Bulgaria, thousands were left shivering in their homes without central heating after Russian gas supplies were cut.

A Bosnian worker carries bag of fire wood in Sarajevo, on 8 Jan 2009

In Bosnia, small entrepreneurs have started selling wood and coal by the roadside to help people ward off the chill.

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