Blizzard paralyzes German traffic

10:16, December 18, 2010      

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The Blizzard "Petra" hammered most of Germany from Thursday night to Friday, causing at least three people dead, dozens injured, as the whole traffic system sank into chaos.


A person walks along a snow covered street in Berlin, December 17, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Three people were killed on Thursday night in German state Bavaria due to bad weather. Two were hit by a car when they tried to help pull out their friend's car from snow. One hit a tree while turning suddenly on an icy road, the police said.

In Germany's most populous state North-Rhine Westphalia state alone, police reported traffic jams of more than 185 kilometers on highways, and 251 weather-related accidents that injured 19 people.

Police said in Dresden more than 100 accidents were counted within just a few hours.

Germany's traffic system was totally messed by the heavy snow. Frankfurt airport, Europe's second largest airport was completely closed for an hour late Thursday, leaving about 1,000 passengers at the airport over night. On Friday about 260 flights are reported to be canceled.


People walk across a snow covered street in Berlin, December 17, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Munich airport, Germany's second-largest hub, reported more than 100 cancellations and major delays. In Berlin, Tegel Airport said on Friday that one-third of all flights had been canceled.

Germany's highways have became a big parking lot as too many cars were stuck by the snow. Some drivers even slept in their cars until the police noticed them the road has been cleaned.

German Red Cross has to bring hot tea and blankets to those drivers who have been stuck in the traffic jam in the chilly weather.

The railway can also not escape from the extremely bad impact of "Petra."

A regional train between Hamburg and Luebeck stopped suddenly on the railway as heavy snow cut off power supply, leaving about 400 passengers in darkness and cold from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, which caused panic within the train, said the German rail service, Deutsche Bahn, on Friday.

It also caused 38 train delays, forcing thousands of people stuck at railway stations around the accident. Deutsche Bahn said.

The German Weather Service (DWD) has warned more snow was likely this weekend in Germany after a short break on Saturday.

Source: Xinhua
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