Germany Brought To Near Standstill By 12 Hours of Solid Snowfall

No way through: Huge snowfall obscures the view of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin

Not a single train ran without delays in the whole of the country.

In the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in the west there were some 700 accidents on the autobahns during 12 hours of snowfall. And even international airports like Dusseldorf had to shut down on Monday night as the snow blew in.

Jack-knifed trucks littered the motorway network across the country.

Many fellow truckers trying to pull lorries free of snowdrifts found themselves suddenly trapped.

Rising temperatures at the weekend following by a plunging thermometer on Monday created black ice across the country. The S-Bahn network in Berlin that carries most commuters to work was severely delayed due to frozen points.

Hamburg saw 400 road accidents within 12 hours and in the former British army garrison town of Osnabrueck all public transport was suspended because of the state of the roads.

“It is absolute chaos here,“ an Osnabrueck police spokesman said.

On the A9 autobahn leading into Munich the traffic jam into the city reached 18 miles long. In Nuremberg a sports hall and stadium were closed due to the build up of ice and snow on the roof.

Usually Germany is held up as the model to follow when it comes to combating winter. Teams of snowploughs are deployed on autobahns and trunk roads within minutes of the first flakes of snow dropping from the skies.

“But this front came in hard and fast and caught everyone on the hop,“ said a weather service spokesman.

Several people were killed in the accidents and dozens more hospitalised with injuries. The damages bill is already in the double digit millions.

Last updated at 3:20 AM on 15th December 2010

Source: The Daily Mail

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