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Weather forces airport closures, cancellations

AFP/DPA/The Local · 20 Dec 2009, 15:48

Published: 20 Dec 2009 15:48 GMT+01:00

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Many flights at Frankfurt, which is Germany’s largest airport and a hub for Europe, were cancelled or redirected, a spokeswoman for the airport said. She added that the airport was expecting snowfalls until Sunday evening, causing further disruption.

By the early afternoon, at least 50 flights had been cancelled at Frankfurt, and 15 others had been redirected to Stuttgart or Munich. These were partly due to changes to flight plans

The temperature fell to -30 degrees Celsius in parts of Germany overnight, while the average temperatures across the country on Sunday languished around -10 to -15 degrees.

A police spokesman in Düsseldorf said: “Air traffic has been halted since this morning” and added he did not know when the airport would reopen.

The airport's website offered stricken passengers an information hotline.

Meanwhile, a 46-year-old homeless man froze to death overnight in the southwestern city of Mannheim while sleeping on the bare pavement exposed to sub-zero temperatures, police said.

Authorities reported hundreds of car accidents throughout the country, including two women killed in separate collisions in the north due to icy conditions.

By Sunday afternoon, at least six people had been killed because of the cold snap.

Story continues below…

As the brutal weather gripping Europe caused transport chaos, it emerged that German model Claudia Schiffer was among about 2000 passengers stranded for hours on Eurostar trains in the channel tunnel between Paris and London.

British media reports claimed other passengers were furious that Schiffer was given preferential treatment in getting out of the tunnel, ahead of children and disabled passengers.

Despite the frosty weather, large parts of Germany can't expect a white Christmas, according to the German Weather Service, which said warmer temperatures and rain were on the way.

AFP/DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

19:09 December 20, 2009 by Fränkische Ami
"British media reports claimed other passengers were furious that Schiffer was given preferential treatment in getting out of the tunnel, ahead of children and disabled passengers."


Claudia, you missed a good opportunity to set a good example for Germany, stay put next time.

23:33 December 20, 2009 by lordkorner
I will believe that bit about Schiffer when i read it some where else...
01:56 December 21, 2009 by Larry Thrash
I'm waiting for some leftist politician or "climate scientist" to say that we have this record snow and cold because taxes are too low.
02:26 December 21, 2009 by Thames
How ironic the cold arrived just as the Climate Change meetings were going on. I would have thought all that hot air coing on just north of Germany woudlhave kept the weather warmer. Well maybe if Al Gore showed up it would have been warmer.
21:10 December 21, 2009 by Henckel
And we had similar storms here in the USA, both here in the "Mittleren Westen" and on the East Coast.
13:56 December 22, 2009 by aceroni
Where actually did you guys get the impression that global warming means no winters anymore? The projected annual average temperature increase is +2/3C worldwide. Which one of the words annual, average, two degrees, worldwide didn't you get?
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