Skip to comments.Europe freezes in its tracks
Posted on 01/30/2004 10:42:42 AM PST by knighthawk
Paris - Four people were killed in an avalanche in Poland as snowfall blanketed much of Europe on Thursday, triggering traffic and rail chaos and forcing the cancellation of hundreds of flights in Britain, Germany and Denmark.
Four people were found dead after being caught in an avalanche in Poland's southern Tatra mountains, the Polish news agency PAP reported, citing rescue services.
The two men and two women, who set off from a mountain shelter on Wednesday to explore a cave, were swept away by an avalanche 50m wide and 400m long, and fell several hundred metres.
In Britain, snow drifts led to the cancellation of more than 200 flights out of London's Heathrow airport late on Wednesday and a further 80 had been dropped by early Thursday, an airport spokesperson said.
Two other airports close to London, Gatwick and Stansted, were also affected with a total of 18 flights cancelled due to the weather.
In Germany, heavy snowfall snarled road traffic and led to the cancellation of 76 flights at Frankfurt international airport, the country's largest.
Authorities said two-thirds of the remaining planes from Frankfurt were delayed and that the wintry weather was likely to affect air traffic for the rest of the day.
In the southern city of Munich 40 flights were cancelled, although an airport spokesperson said only one-quarter of the problems were related to snow in the region. The rest were the result of weather-related delays in other German cities or other parts of Europe.
In France, road traffic restrictions went into force in Paris after an overnight snowfall, but similar measures in other parts of the country were lifted early on Thursday, officials said.
Services at the main Paris airports were reported to be near normal, after delays were caused on Wednesday at Charles de Gaulle Airport by a combination of snow and fog.
However the Paris airports authority advised air travellers to check whether their flights were delayed before leaving home.
With the exception of the Mediterranean coast, most of France was blanketed in snow overnight.
In Denmark, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) cancelled 53 flights out of Copenhagen's Kastrup airport on Thursday morning because of heavy snowfall and a strike by one of the companies that supplies the airport with jet fuel.
By early afternoon, traffic returned to normal after weather conditions improved and strikers returned to work, said Troels Rasmussen, speaking for SAS in Copenhagen.
In Belgium and Luxembourg, heavy snowfalls also brought road and rail delays and led to the cancellation of flights, while opening several downhill ski runs in Belgium's southern hills.
At Brussels airport a number of flights were delayed and some cancelled, notably to short-haul destinations such as Berlin, Copenhagen, Helsinki, London and Munich.
If people want on or off this list, please let me know.
Britain and Western Europe have been experiencing a classic "Continental Climate", very hot Summers and very cold Winters almost like Midwest US cities of comparable latitude.
Maybe the Gulf Stream is slowing down.
Has the Thames River frozen over yet?
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