• Germany edition
 
Icy roads cause widespread traffic chaos
Photo: DPA

Icy roads cause widespread traffic chaos

Published: 16 Jan 2013 14:30 GMT+01:00
Updated: 16 Jan 2013 14:30 GMT+01:00

A 21-year-old woman was killed early on Wednesday morning when her car hit black ice, left the road and hit a tree on a main road in Hankensbüttel in Lower Saxony, said police. Another 21-year-old man was killed nearby on Tuesday when his car skidded into a snow plough in Marienberg near the Czech border.

Meanwhile, countless smaller accidents in Baden-Württemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse und Rhineland-Palatinate led to several motorways being completely shut resulting in long traffic jams lasting into Wednesday afternoon.

In the west, the A4 and A3 motorways were completely closed on Wednesday after lorries skidded on ice or got stuck in snow. The whole of North Rhine Westphalia seemed clogged with traffic jams in the morning, WDR Online said. At one point traffic jams stretched a total of 400 kilometres across all roads in the state.

Police estimated more than 100 accidents occurred on roads in Baden-Württemberg on Wednesday morning - after heavy snowfall overnight - while there were two dozen accidents in north Hesse and 18 in western Palatinate over the same period. Most of these resulted in only slight injuries and superficial vehicle damage.

In more serious incidents a 46-year-old and his passenger were badly injured near Wiesbaden when their car skidded across the carriageway into oncoming traffic.

And elsewhere in western Palatinate an 18-year-old driver was badly hurt when his car slid off the road onto a railway line and hit a tree. Luckily the approaching train was able to brake in time to avoid hitting the car.

Generally, trains withstood the icy weather much better than cars, but with more ice and snow on the way, the railways may not be out of the woods yet.

Head of Deutsche Bahn Rüdiger Grube repeated last autumn's warnings of train cancellations and delays in cold weather on Wednesday.

"We haven't got through it yet," Grube told the regional Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung newspaper. If the whole country is covered in snow and ice for days on end - as looks the case for the next week - travellers should expect "some cancellations," said Grube, due to Deutsche Bahn's shortage of reserve trains.

Click here for The Local's weather forecast

Winter's comeback is showing no sign of letting up, said the DWD weather service, with the current low-pressure system sticking around to keep the whole country at subzero temperatures at least until the weekend.

More heavy snowfall is expected for the centre, east and south-east of Germany over the next few days, with especially heavy falls in the mountains. Meanwhile, in the north and north-west of the country the snow will ease off, said DWD, but clear skies will cause temperatures to drop to as low as minus 15 at night.

DAPD/The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Bundesbank warns of ECB 'change of course'
Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann: Photo: DPA

Bundesbank warns of ECB 'change of course'

The head of Germany's powerful Bundesbank sharply criticised what he called a radical new approach by the European Central Bank of easy money, in an interview published Sunday. READ  

MH17 Crash
Families of German MH17 victims to sue
Australian and Dutch investigators examine a piece of debris of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 plane. Photo: EPA/DPA/ Igor Kovalenko

Families of German MH17 victims to sue

Relatives of German victims of downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 plan to sue Ukraine and its president for criminal negligence for not closing the country's airspace, a lawyer said Sunday. READ  

Sport
Wonder goal puts new boys Paderborn on top
Paderborn players celebrate after defeating Hanover 2-0 to go top of the Bundesliga. Photo: DPA

Wonder goal puts new boys Paderborn on top

Promoted Paderborn went top of the Bundesliga helped by an extraordinary 80-metre goal at Hanover on Saturday as champions Bayern Munich were held to a goalless draw by struggling Hamburg. READ  

Oktoberfest 2014
Oktoberfest opens to toast millions
Celebrities Carolin Reiber and Marianne Sägebrecht raise their glasses at Oktoberfest 2014. Photo: DPA

Oktoberfest opens to toast millions

Germany's world-famous Oktoberfest kicked off Saturday with the traditional tapping of the first barrel of beer, as millions of revellers are set to soak up the frothy atmosphere in the 16-day annual extravaganza. READ  

Germany plan air lifts to help fight Ebola
A Liberian man holds his daughter as they wait for treatment for suspected Ebola symptoms in Monrovia. Photo: DPA

Germany plan air lifts to help fight Ebola

Germany and France will send military transport planes to West Africa to help efforts to contain the Ebola epidemic, Chancellor Angela Merkel and military officials said on Friday. READ  

Germany beefs up asylum rules for Balkans

Germany beefs up asylum rules for Balkans

Germany made it harder Friday for people from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and Serbia to apply for asylum after lawmakers classified the three Balkan countries as safe, with respect for basic rights. READ  

German Muslims rally against extremism
Muslims pray in Kreuzberg, Berlin, on Friday outside a mosque which was damaged in an arson attack. Photo: DPA

German Muslims rally against extremism

Muslims across Germany held a day of prayers and rallies on Friday to condemn both Islamic extremism and a backlash against their faith that has seen arson attacks on mosques. READ  

German military flight to Iraq starts with a hiccup
The trainers on the air strip in Hohn, Schleswig-Holstein. Photo: Bundeswehr.

German military flight to Iraq starts with a hiccup

Military trainers flew to northern Iraq from Germany on Friday, ahead of a huge delivery of weapons from the German military, but things didn’t initially go as planned. READ  

Munich gets four Euro 2020 matches
Photo: DPA

Munich gets four Euro 2020 matches

UPDATE: Munich will play host to four Euro 2020 games, European football’s governing body Uefa announced in Geneva on Friday, but London was the real winner. READ  

Driver, 18, ploughs into school pupils
The scene by the bus stop outside the school in Diepholz. Photo: DPA

Driver, 18, ploughs into school pupils

An 18-year-old drove into a group of students outside a school in western Germany on Friday morning, injuring several. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Culture
Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's tents
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
Drunk teachers ruin school trip to Hamburg
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Fashion Ladies of the Local: Win a New Autumn Look
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Oktoberfest 2014: The best and worst in dirndl fashion
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again
Photo: DPA
Education
German universities tumble in global rankings
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
The three types of firms hiring foreigners
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Frisky couple shock Berlin commuters
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,361
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd