Five reported dead as cold snap batters European mainland

Persistent snow and freezing conditions from a Siberian cold snap has badly affected transport and caused a handful of deaths across a swathe of Europe from Britain to the Balkans.

Five reported dead as cold snap batters European mainland

Persistent snow and freezing conditions from a Siberian cold snap has badly affected transport and caused a handful of deaths across a swathe of Europe from Britain to the Balkans.

Several deaths were attributed to the cold snap, including a 75-year-old man who fell through ice in the Netherlands, likely while skating.

Meanwhile, a 38-year-old man was found dead on a frozen river in northern Germany amid continuing sub-zero temperatures across the country, according to German news agency dpa.

In Denmark, a 54-year-old man who suffered from dementia was found dead in the snow on the Baltic Sea island of Bornholm, police said.

In southern Serbia, another man suffering from dementia was found frozen to death after he disappeared from his home two days ago.

People walk in a snow-coated St. Mark's Square, in Venice, northern Italy. Pic: Riccardo Gregolin/ANSA via AP
People walk in a snow-coated St. Mark's Square, in Venice, northern Italy. Pic: Riccardo Gregolin/ANSA via AP

An elderly man died of cold when he went out to collect wood near Maribor in Slovenia, authorities said. Temperatures in that country fell as low as -27C.

In France, the national weather agency, Meteo France, put a large part of the country on alert for dangerous levels of snow, ice and violent wind. Urging people to limit their movement, Meteo France said snowfall would continue until Friday.

Snowfall of up to 3.6ft blanketed all of Albania, including a rare accumulation in the capital, Tirana. Many schools in the countryside were closed on Wednesday.

Ice covers the pier at the harbor of Constance at lake Constance, Germany. Pic: Steffen Schmidt/dpa via AP
Ice covers the pier at the harbor of Constance at lake Constance, Germany. Pic: Steffen Schmidt/dpa via AP

Snow has blocked many roads and damaged power pylons across Albania, leading to power cuts in many rural areas.

In Kosovo, the education ministry closed all elementary and high schools Wednesday due to the extreme. Temperatures are expected to drop as low as minus 23C.

Freezing weather also limited traffic and closed down schools in Croatia, with snow falling even along the Adriatic coast.

A tourist takes a selfie next to a snowman in St. Mark's Square, in Venice, northern Italy. Pic: Riccardo Gregolin/ANSA via AP
A tourist takes a selfie next to a snowman in St. Mark's Square, in Venice, northern Italy. Pic: Riccardo Gregolin/ANSA via AP

The cold snap saw a snowman built in St Mark's Square in Venice, Italy, while snow delayed Formula One testing at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona in Spain.

PA

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