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Frankfurt cuts 150 flights as snow storm hits

Published: 09 Dec 2012 14:47 GMT+01:00

Intercontinental, domestic and European flights were all affected at the airport, Europe's third-busiest, and the conditions would delay other flights, a spokesman said.

A total of 1,250 flights had been scheduled for Sunday at what is Germany's biggest airport.

Berlin was also hit by snowy conditions on Sunday, but a spokesman at the capital's airport said that while there were delays of up to 20 minutes were expected as they cleared landing strips, no flights had been cancelled.

At least 20 centimetres of the white stuff blanketed large swathes of Germany - and most places remaining below freezing.

Meteorologists warned motorists in the west that they should expect black ice on roads on Monday, particularly in the lower Rhine area as snow turns briefly to rain on Sunday night and turns to ice as it hits freezing roads.

"Snow, ice and frost will continue into the week," said a German Weather Service (DWD) meteorologist on Sunday.

DWD issued snow storm warnings for several regions including parts of North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse and Thuringia. The coldest temperatures of the winter so far at minus 22 degrees Celsius were recorded in Sohland in the Upper Lausitz area.

Click here for The Local's weather forecast

Dozens of accidents were reported over the weekend, particularly around the Berlin area. The S-bahn train system was badly hit on Sunday, with one train breaking down blocking many others, and serious delays on many lines.

Lufthansa had cancelled around 100 flights on Friday evening, leading to delays for the rest of the weekend, at the country's busiest air transport hub.

A police helicopter pilot saved a deer that had got stuck in the ice of a lake in Schleswig-Holstein. The pilot used the downdraft of the aircraft to blast the animal out of the ice and to the shore where it ran off.

Thoughts of using a boat to rescue the animal from the Süsler Lake near Eutin were rejected as it could have been dangerous to the rescuers. The next option of shooting the deer to prevent it suffering while stuck in the ice were also discarded for fear of accidently hitting someone on the other side of the water.

The would-be rescuers were about to give up and abandon the animal to its fate when a police helicopter pilot on his way back from a patrol on the Baltic Sea heard about the situation on his radio and volunteered to help.

How much snow is there where you are? We want to see your photos. Send them to news@thelocal.de

DPA/DAPD/AFP/The Local/hc

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