• 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)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Russia 'severed' from Europe, says Gauck
President Gauck stands shoulder to shoulder with President Komorowski of Poland in Gdansk on Monday. Photo: DPA

Russia 'severed' from Europe, says Gauck

Russia has "effectively severed its partnership" with Europe and wants to establish a new order, German President Joachim Gauck said on Monday. READ  

Man shot in tax office dispute
DPA

Man shot in tax office dispute

A tax office worker in the Schleswig-Holstein town of Rendsburg died in hospital after being shot on Monday morning. READ  

Merkel details Iraq arms shipment to MPs
Angela Merkel addressing the Bundestag on Monday as her ministers look on. Photo: DPA

Merkel details Iraq arms shipment to MPs

UPDATE: Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed the Bundestag on Monday to explain her government's decision to send weapons to Iraqi Kurds fighting terrorist group Isis. READ  

Olympic visions compete in Berlin and Hamburg
Berlin and Hamburg mayors Klaus Wowereit and Olaf Scholz on Monday. Photos: DPA

Olympic visions compete in Berlin and Hamburg

Germany's capital and its gateway to the North Sea each released details of their Olympic bids on Monday as the race for the 2024 or 2028 summer games nominations picks up momentum. READ  

Vacationer killed by Baltic Sea bacteria
Photo: DPA

Vacationer killed by Baltic Sea bacteria

Six people were infected with a bacteria from the Caribbean which has made itself at home in the popular German vacation destination. One of them is now in a coma. READ  

UN applauds Germany's help to refugees
DPA

UN applauds Germany's help to refugees

UNHCR Commissioner Antonio Guterres is lauding Germany's role in accommodating the influx of refugees in Europe, while pointing at the imbalance of effort within the EU. The federal government has pledged to do more. READ  

Energy-sucking vacuums no longer welcome
Photo: DPA

Energy-sucking vacuums no longer welcome

Starting on Monday, vacuum cleaners drawing more than 1600 watts can no longer be brought into Germany. The ban is part of a an EU-wide environmental protection measure. READ  

Coalition horsetrading starts after Saxony vote
CDU leader Stanislav Tillich with SPD Martig Dulig. Photo: DPA

Coalition horsetrading starts after Saxony vote

Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic (CDU) party is in search of a new partner after the expulsion of its former allies the Free Democrats (FDP) from the Saxon state parliament. READ  

Presented by Phorms Education
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation
Photo: Phorms Education

Bilingual education from nursery to graduation

A network of German based schools is changing how students learn languages by introducing English and Deutsch from day one, with the method yielding impressive academic results. The Local finds out more about Phorms Education. READ  

JobTalk Germany
'German bosses need to praise more'
More of this? Photo: Shutterstock

'German bosses need to praise more'

What do German bosses need to do to get more out of their staff? Frankfurt-based business consultant Justin Bariso has this advice. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten of the oddest things found by German border control
Photo: Gerkan, Marg and Partners/Tegel Projekt GmbH/J. Mayer
Berlin
How will Berlin look in five years' time?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The best of Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit in 14 pictures
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germany sends burgers and sausages to Kurds
Photo: Matthias Kock
National
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Photo: DPA
Gallery
10 things to do before summer in Germany is really over
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
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

3,416
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd