World

Children stuck overnight in German school as heavy snow hits northern Europe

Commuters queue on a country road in the Taunus region near Frankfurt, Germany (Michael Probst/AP)
Commuters queue on a country road in the Taunus region near Frankfurt, Germany (Michael Probst/AP) Commuters queue on a country road in the Taunus region near Frankfurt, Germany (Michael Probst/AP)

The early onset of winter has brought heavy snowfall and icy roads to northern Europe, with German media reporting at least two deaths and children stuck overnight in a school.

Germany’s western state of Hesse was particularly badly affected by the snow and icy roads, with power cuts due to fallen trees in some places, the news agency dpa reported.

Across Hesse, road accidents were reported and trees collapsed under the weight of snow.

Drivers were stuck in their cars in the Rheingau-Taunus district and about a hundred people had to be rescued due to fallen trees near the town of Eltville.

Germany Weather
Germany Weather Fallen trees block a country road in the Taunus region (Michael Probst/AP)

In the nearby city of Wiesbaden, many roads were closed. Students and staff at a school had to sleep overnight in the building because school buses were no longer running. Firefighters set up sleeping accommodation for the 55 people stranded, including 27 children.

The wintry weather caused havoc elsewhere in the country as well. There were numerous reports of road accidents in Berlin and the surrounding state of Brandenburg.

In neighbouring Saxony-Anhalt, a school bus with 16 children on board skidded into a ditch on Tuesday morning due to the slippery road surface. One child was injured.

In the south-western state of Baden-Wurttemberg, a 71-year-old man was killed in a head-on collision on a slippery road on Monday evening, while a 54-year-old female driver died in an accident on an icy road in the neighbouring state of Rhineland-Palatinate, dpa reported.

Temperatures were also well below freezing in nearly all of Sweden, Denmark and Norway. Several locations on Norway’s west coast record lows for the month on Monday, according to public broadcaster NRK.