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Snow Slows Germany Down

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Snow Slows Germany Down
Snow Slows Germany Down

Video: Snow Slows Germany Down

Video: Snow Slows Germany Down
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Ice-cold comeback: Snow and ice paralyze Frankfurt Airport, express trains of the railway are allowed to travel a maximum of 160, thousands of drivers are stuck.

After a few days with milder temperatures, snow and ice put commuters and travelers in large parts of Germany to a severe test. Especially in a strip from Saarland via Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse, Northern Bavaria, Thuringia and Saxony, the winter weather on Thursday caused problems on roads, rails and air traffic. Germany's largest airport in Frankfurt am Main had to close for four hours during the night. More than 2000 passengers spent the night in the terminals. Almost 1000 stranded after diversions at the airport in Hanover-Langenhagen.

Closed airports

A total of around 250 flights were canceled on Thursday night in Frankfurt and 40 more were diverted. The aircraft could not have braked on the snow-covered runways, and visibility was impaired. According to a spokesman, 85 flights were canceled on Thursday alone. A concert by the singer Shakira in the Frankfurt Festhalle, which was sold out with 11,000 fans, was canceled because the artist was stuck in Paris.

The Berlin airports were also affected. In the course of Thursday, it is to be expected that around 60 flights will be canceled at Tegel and Schönefeld Airports, said a spokesman for the operating company.

Problems with the train

The snow also caused problems for the railway. On the ICE route Berlin-Munich trains had to be diverted again, as a rail spokesman said. As a precaution, trees were felled along the route. They had leaned too much under the weight of the snow. In addition, there were delays because long-distance trains were not allowed to travel faster than 160 kilometers per hour for safety reasons.

In Thuringia and Saxony, the railway generally warned of failures and delays «due to the weather conditions». Replacement buses could not always run. In Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate, bus traffic was hardly possible due to heavy snowfall. The police authorities reported several trucks that had broken down on motorways and federal highways. For drivers too, it was often said: no way through.

Supply by the fire brigade

In Hesse and Thuringia, firefighters provided stuck motorists with food and drinks at night. In East Hesse, Autobahn 7 near Fulda was closed for several hours. The travelers stayed in their vehicles when the temperature was below zero. Up to 20 centimeters of snow had fallen within a short time, and black ice was added in many places.

Hundreds of cars were stuck on Autobahn 9 in Thuringia on Thursday morning. The Triptiser Berg had become impassable the night before, despite continuous use by winter services, as a police spokeswoman in Saalfeld said. The traffic was temporarily jammed over a length of around 40 kilometers.

Leipzig without the tram

In North Rhine-Westphalia, the police counted more than 800 weather-related accidents from Wednesday noon to early Thursday morning, as the state control center in Duisburg announced. Eleven people were seriously injured and 60 slightly injured.

Rain, snow and temperatures below zero also led to obstructions on the motorways in Saxony. In Leipzig, the tram completely failed, which frustrated thousands of commuters. A spokesman for the Leipziger Verkehrsbetriebe said that overhead lines were damaged due to freezing rain on Wednesday evening. (dpa)

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