BERLIN (AP) — Winter's early onset has brought heavy snowfall and icy roads to Northern Europe, creating disruptions and dangerous driving conditions, with German media reporting Tuesday at least two deaths and children stuck overnight in a school.
To the north, Scandinavia was also experiencing unusually cold temperatures for November. Temperatures were well below freezing in nearly all of Sweden, Denmark and Norway. Several locations on Norway’s west coast recorded record lows for the month on Monday, according to public broadcaster NRK.
Germany's western state of Hesse was particularly 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 with injuries 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.
In the nearby city of Wiesbaden, many roads had to be completely 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 neighboring Saxony-Anhalt, a school bus with 16 children on board skidded into a ditch Tuesday morning due to the slippery road surface. One child was injured, police reported.
In the southwestern state of in Baden-Württemberg, a 71-year-old man was killed in a head-on collision on a slippery road Monday evening, while a 54-year-old female driver died in an accident on a slippery road in the neighboring state of Rhineland-Palatinate, dpa reported.