Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Israeli strikes on Gaza as seen on social media

Read more

DEBATE

Africa's Newest Failed State: How to Stop Civil War and Famine in South Sudan? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Israel and the Palestinians: How to Break the Cycle of Violence?

Read more

DEBATE

Africa's Newest Failed State: How to Stop Civil War and Famine in South Sudan?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Somalia : Al Shebab attack on presidential palace

Read more

FOCUS

Sharia law to be enshrined in British legal system?

Read more

ENCORE!

How a comedy dud became one of France's biggest box office hits

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya: Clashes at anti-government rally in Nairobi

Read more

WEB NEWS

ISIS leader challenged over expensive-looking wristwatch

Read more

  • Argentina beat the Netherlands on penalties to reach World Cup final

    Read more

  • Foiled French jihadist ‘targeted Louvre and Eiffel Tower’

    Read more

  • Obama in Texas to urge action on child migrant crisis

    Read more

  • Iraq’s heritage 'in danger' from ISIS militants

    Read more

  • Froome crashes out of Tour de France

    Read more

  • South Sudan independence heroes ‘have lost their way’

    Read more

  • Dozens of blindfolded bodies found south of Baghdad

    Read more

  • Israel pummels Gaza in retaliation for Hamas rocket attacks

    Read more

  • Alps Murder wife had ex-husband who died on same day

    Read more

  • Both candidates say they won Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • Brazil players should never wear 'sacred uniform' again, press says

    Read more

  • Exiled Syrian opposition elects new president

    Read more

  • China’s first Tour de France cyclist chases his dream

    Read more

  • Ukraine imposes new conditions on peace talks with pro-Russia rebels

    Read more

  • Sarkozy's UMP party 'almost €80 million in debt'

    Read more

  • Typhoon Neoguri turns deadly as it batters Japanese islands

    Read more

Europe

Cold snap kills dozens across Europe

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-12-21

The death toll from extreme winter weather across Europe has risen to more than 50 on Monday, with treacherous roads and sub-zero temperatures reeking havoc across the continent.

AFP - The death toll from winter storms across Europe rose to more than 50 on Monday as transport chaos grew amid mounting anger over the failure of Eurostar high-speed trains.

With tens of thousands stranded by the cancellation of London to Paris trains and flights in several countries, new accidents added to the big freeze tumult.

A car that veered off an icy road caused the derailment of a Paris commuter train, injuring 36 people. Another commuter train in the Croatian capital hit a buffer Monday injuring 50 people.

Polish authorities said 42 people, many of them homeless, had died of cold over three days in the country after temperatures plunged to minus 20 degrees Celsius (minus four Fahrenheit).

Six people were killed in accidents in Germany and three in Austria. France has reported at least two deaths of homeless, including one in the normally clement Mediterranean port of Marseille.

More flights were cancelled in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and main highways were blocked across Europe where some regions had more than 50 centimetres (nearly 20 inches) of snow.

The breakdown of the Eurostar service under the Channel, linking London with Paris and Brussels, has symbolised Europe's suffering.

After the nightmare of more than 2,000 people stuck in the tunnel when five trains broke down, tens of thousands more people have missed trains that have been cancelled since Friday night.

With no services planned until at least Tuesday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy summoned the head of the state SNCF rail company, Guillaume Pepy, for a showdown meeting.

The French transport ministry has ordered an investigation into the breakdown, which Eurostar said has been caused by trains unable to handle the change from freezing temperatures outside to warm temperatures in the tunnel.

France's Durable Development Minister Jean-Louis Borloo called the treatment of Eurostar passengers "unbelievable".

Eurostar said it had launched its own review by independent experts into the breakdown.

The winter storms caused other accidents across Europe.

A Paris commuter train derailed late Sunday injuring at least 36 people, according to authorities. A car swerved on ice and hit a bridge wall sending concrete onto the rails of the commuter line, police said. Firefighters had to evacuate 300 people on the train.

The main commuter line running east to west across the Paris region has been out of action for 12 days because of a strike.

Authorities also investigated whether heavy snow caused a crash at Zagreb's main railway station where the commuter train smashed into a concrete buffer. One person among the 50 injured suffered life-threatening injuries, police said.

Air traffic was again badly hit across Europe. Where temperatures remained glacial: minus 20 Celsius in Sibiu in Romania, where more than 50 centimetres of snow fell, and minus seven Celsius in Venice, Italy.

Seven hundred people spent the night on camp beds at Amsterdam-Schipol airport. Authorities said more flights were likely to be cancelled after dozens were grounded Sunday.

The Dutch rail network was also badly hit Monday with the railway company advising commuters to stay at home.

Heavy snowfall led to more delays and cancellations at Frankfurt and Duesseldorf airports in Germay, where more than 500 flights were cancelled or redirected on Sunday.

At least six people died throughout Germany over the weekend due to exposure to Arctic temperatures or in car accidents.

Temperatures are forecast to rise this week after hitting a frigid minus 33.6 degrees Celsius (minus 28.5 degrees Fahrenheit) Saturday in Bavaria.

Twenty percent of flights out of Paris-Charles de Gaulle were cancelled Monday morning nearly all those that managed to take off were delayed by up to 90 minutes.

Only two of the four runways at Madrid-Barajas airport operated Monday because of heavy snow and an airport spokesman said more than 50 arrivals or departures had been cancelled.

Flights from Lisbon to Madrid were among those cancelled while main roads in northern Portugal were cut by snow.

Brussels airport also reported cancellations and delays.
 

Date created : 2009-12-21

  • TRANSPORT

    Eurostar says service may resume Tuesday

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)