Still in winter’s grip: Melting snow turning to ice makes driving treacherous as Eurostar is cancelled and man fights for life after being hit by falling telegraph pole
Temperatures plunged to as low as -3C as heavy snow hit the South East
Sussex and Kent worst affected areas with traffic brought to a standstill
A23 described as ‘treacherous’ with drivers stuck in their cars overnight
Volunteers from Red Cross sent out to help people trapped in their cars
Commuters facing nightmare journeys to work with train and road delays
Singer Cheryl Baker: Highways Agency didn’t do enough to prepare roads
But HA says: ‘We knew this was coming – we had plans and followed them’
Eurostar: All services suspended due to conditions in Belgium and France
At least 20 injured, six seriously, in horror crash near Munzenberg, Germany
Frankfurt airport closed at midday after succumbing to five inches of snow
Quarter of outbound flights from Charles de Gaulle airport cancelled
Record 1,000 miles of traffic tailback hit Belgium in morning rush hour
Much of Europe is struggling to cope with heavy spring snowfall today as France, Belgium and Germany are in the midst of travel chaos.
At least 20 people were injured, six seriously, after an horrendous pile-up involving at least 100 cars on the autobahn near Munzenberg, Germany, caused by the treacherous conditions.
Meanwhile, Frankfurt airport closed at midday after recording about five inches of snow with more than 100 flights already cancelled and many others delayed.
In Paris, a quarter of outbound flights have been cancelled at Charles de Gaulle airport and Belgium has seen a record 1,000 miles of traffic jams during morning rush hour.
Spokesman Hagen Vetter said Autobahn 45 in Germany looked ‘like a battlefield’ following the horrific crash this afternoon.
The motorway was completely shut down in both directions while rescue services tried to pick through the wreckage to reach those inside, some of whom had to be cut out.
Heavy drifting snow had already led to several accidents in the area before the collision.
A spokesman for airport operator Fraport in Frankfurt said he hoped operations could resume later in the day when the snow was expected to ease.
- Office buildings in the French capital – like those in the European Union’s capital, Brussels – were only partly full and high-speed trains are stuck in their stations.
The French train network SNCF urged commuters in the Paris region to stay home instead of trying to reach downtown ‘because of the unfavorable evolution of weather conditions.’
Paris airport screens flashed with red warnings after the French civil aviation authority ordered 25 per cent of flights out of Charles de Gaulle Airport canceled, and 20 per cent of flights out of Orly Airport.
Instead of the onset of spring, Belgium had a record 1,000 miles of traffic jams during morning rush hour as snowdrifts turned roads slippery and reduced vision. A strong wind made conditions even tougher.
Thousands of commuters were left stranded on snowed-in platforms after many trains from Belgium were canceled, including some of the Thalys high-speed trains to France, Germany and the Netherlands.
Roads around northern France were blocked by snow or closed by transport authorities, and trucks were banned from several routes.
Nearly 500 cars were blocked near Cherbourg where snowdrifts piled up almost two feet and winds reached more than 60 mph.