Cold claims first death in Germany: police

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Bitterly cold weather in Germany claimed its first victim as police Friday reported that a 62-year-old man had frozen to death in the east of the country as heavy snow caused dozens of road accidents.

The man was found lying in the snow in front of a bank in the town of Querfurt near Leipzig Thursday, a victim of hypothermia, authorities said.

Slick conditions on roads following steady snowfall across the country led to several crashes including one Wednesday in which a driver was killed when his truck was struck by a high-speed train.

Parliament introduced a requirement for snow tyres from Saturday to boost road safety.

Meanwhile at Frankfurt airport, Europe's third busiest, 44 out of 1,365 scheduled flights were cancelled, a spokesman said, due to treacherous winter conditions elsewhere in Europe.

© 2010 AFP

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