Two dead in Germany as snow wreaks havoc

16th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

Two people were reported dead in a road accident in Germany on Thursday as large parts of the country were buried under snow, causing traffic chaos and closing schools in several areas.

More than 170 road accidents were reported in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia alone and there were huge traffic jams on motorways across the country, with hundreds of stationary lorries backed up.

A bus skidded and slammed into a house late Wednesday in the southern state of Bavaria, killing the 50-year-old driver and a 16-year-old schoolboy on board.

Nearby, a lorry carrying washing machines spun out of control, leaving the driver seriously injured and causing a 19-kilometre (12-mile) tailback and 90,000 euros (120,000 dollars) worth of damage, the Bild daily reported.

Schools were closed in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein, as well as in parts of nearby Hamburg, Lower Saxony, Saxony and Rhineland-Palatinate.

The Bild newspaper cited forecasters as expecting up to 20 centimetres (eight inches) of snow in some areas later on Thursday as well as strong winds.

The country's airports were largely unaffected, however, with Frankfurt, the busiest, not experiencing any major problems so far, a spokesman told AFP.

© 2010 AFP

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