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9-year-old dies in heavy snow as weather danger continues in Bavaria

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9-year-old dies in heavy snow as weather danger continues in Bavaria
Traffic on Thursday on Autobahn 8, which connects Munich and Salzburg. Photo: DPA
09:35 CET+01:00
Severe weather led to the fatality of a nine-year-old boy yesterday near Munich. It also continues to cause traffic jams and avalanches.

Many roads are closed because of the snow masses and fallen trees, which pose a continual danger.

On Thursday, a nine-year-old boy was killed by a falling tree in Aying near Munich. The tree collapsed under the heavy snow load, police reported.

Only after 40 minutes did witnesses discover the boy buried under it and alert the rescue workers. They tried in vain to resuscitate the child for about an hour in the afternoon.

According to the police, the tree, about 10 meters tall, stood on a private property and fell onto an access road.

In the fight against the masses of snow in Bavaria, rescue forces hope for better weather on Friday. According to forecasts from the German Weather Service (DWD), the snowfall is expected to decrease temporarily. Yet DWD advised drivers in snowy parts of Germany to take caution when driving on icy roads.

Heavy traffic jams

It is still unclear when train traffic in southern and eastern Bavaria will resume everywhere. As many trains can no longer get through the snow-covered tracks, lots of connections have been interrupted.

Throughout Bavaria, the fire brigade, the technical relief organizations and other helpers are on constant duty in order to free up roofs that are in danger of collapsing from snow loads.

A man walks along the snow-covered street of Berchtesgaden near the Austrian border. Photo: DPA 

Due to a closure of the Autobahn 8 at Lake Chiemsee in the Rosenheim district, numerous people have been stuck in traffic jams since Thursday evening, sometimes with heavy snowfall.

The Bavarian Red Cross set up care bases, in which helpers were to clear the traffic jam and take care of people. Even in the early hours of the morning, police could not give the all-clear.

A disaster zone along the Austrian border

Hundreds of people are trapped in the Berchtesgaden area on the Austrian border because access roads are closed, reported DPA on Friday morning.

On Thursday, the authorities declared a disaster for parts of the Berchtesgadener Land district, the Traunstein district and the Bad Tölz-Wolfratshausen district. The disaster also applies in the district of Miesbach.

A snow vehicle drives through Berchtesgaden on early Friday morning. Photo: DPA

In the Miesbach and Berchtesgaden area, the Bundeswehr has already been deployed and cleared roofs. Further forces including mountain troops, the air force, the armed forces and the medical service are in increased readiness, a spokesman for the Bavarian state command announced on Friday.

An increasing number of schoolchildren in Upper Bavaria and Swabia have not been able to attend attending classes this Friday. According to the authorities, the way to school was too dangerous for the children and young people.

Caution advised when entering the forests or mountains

Entering snow-covered forests in southern Germany can currently be an acute danger to life, the Association of German Forest Owners Associations told the "Bild" newspaper.

According to experts, however, the danger of avalanches has decreased in large parts of the Bavarian Alps.

SEE ALSO: Germany raises avalanche alert after skiier deaths

On Friday, the Bavarian Avalanche Warning Service in Munich classified the danger as great only for the Berchtesgaden Alps, which is the second highest of five danger levels. 

For the rest of the Alpine region, the danger is considerable, warning level 3. In the past few days, the experts had assumed that there was a great danger of avalanches throughout the region, which corresponds to level 4.

However, they continued to warn: "Due to the possible long ranges of avalanches, activities in the mountains at present require special caution and a carefully considered choice of route.”

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