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Accidents and delays rise as weather worsens

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Accidents and delays rise as weather worsens
Photo: DPA
08:03 CET+01:00
The number of road accidents rose into the thousands overnight Tuesday, as snow and ice continued to cause traffic chaos in Germany, particularly in the south and southwest of the country.

The large state of North Rhine-Westphalia alone counted 1,784 weather-related accidents, police said, causing at least one death, 20 serious injuries and 87 milder injuries. The cost of the damage stood at €3.8 million.

In Lower Bavaria there had been 56 accidents since midday Monday with at least 12 injuries and a €250,000 in damage.

Road crews were working feverishly through the night across much of the south and southwest to clear and grit at least the main streets. Many smaller roads remained covered in ice and, in parts, snow.

Click here for photos of the winter weather chaos.

In Lower Franconia, a truck loaded with pigs overturned on the A7 motorway near Estenfeld. The driver was seriously injured and the autobahn closed for hours.

More than 200 passengers had to be rescued from a high-speed ICE train after it became stuck in Bavaria's Kronach county when a felled tree damaged power lines. They were forced to spend the night in a gymnasium in the care of the Red Cross.

Northern parts of the Rhineland-Palatinate also suffered from accidents caused by prolonged snowfalls. By 3 am Tuesday, there had been 81 weather-related accidents, including seven injuries and damage of €270,000.

The German Weather Service (DWD), meanwhile, is warning of ongoing snow falls, ice, wind and snowdrifts. Central mountain areas and the coasts are likely to be hardest hit, the DWD said.

Daily Bild reported that a 48-year-old woman was killed when her car collided on a snow-covered road with a truck near Taunusstein in Bavaria.

Munich and Frankfurt airports cancelled hundreds of flights on Monday and at least 300 people were forced to spend the night in the terminal in Frankfurt. More delays and cancellations were expected throughout the day on Tuesday.

Click here for The Local's weather forecast.

DAPD/The Local/dw

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