Freezing Rain Causes Accidents that Leave 3 Dead in Germany While Munich Airport Resumes Flights

December 5, 2023

BERLIN (AP) — Freezing rain and cold weather buffeting Germany were blamed for traffic accidents that left three dead on Tuesday while Munich Airport temporarily suspended flights.

One student was killed in a crash involving a school bus in the Erzgebirge mountains in the eastern German state of Saxony, police said. At least 10 other schoolchildren were taken to a hospital. Two adults, including the bus driver, were seriously injured.

The bus skidded into the side of a winter road maintenance vehicle in Sehmatal county near the Czech border, German news agency dpa reported. It then crashed head-on into a tree and and the impact was so strong that it completely destroyed the front of the vehicle.

In Munich, all flights were either canceled or postponed between 6 a.m. and noon (0500-1100 GMT), with the airport warning that many flights scheduled for later in the day might also be affected by the severe weather conditions.

A Lufthansa plane from New York landed at noon, signaling the resumption of flights.

A snow plow clears snow and ice from a main road in Schwerin, Germany, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023.. Heavy snowfall and temperatures below freezing are hampering traffic in northern Germany. (Jens Büttner/dpa via AP)

The airport, Germany’s second-biggest, had announced the temporary shutdown on Monday night as a result of weather forecasts for Tuesday.

Flights were also grounded at Munich Airport on Saturday following heavy snowfall in the city and in Germany’s southern state of Bavaria.

Two other people died in a collision between a car and a tractor-trailer on the A8 highway in Upper Bavaria. According to the police, their car skidded under the rear of a truck, which had come to a stop across the highway overnight from Monday to Tuesday due to frozen rain on the highway’s surface, dpa reported.

The A99 near Munich was shutdown in both direction after 13 vehicles were involved in a mass accident, dpa reported. There was no immediate information about possible injuries.

Train operator Deutsche Bahn said traffic in the Munich region would be affected for several days.

Rail services to the Austrian cities of Salzburg and Innsbruck, as well as Zurich in Switzerland, remained suspended early Tuesday but some long-distance trains were to resume travels to Austria later in the day, dpa said. Deutsche Bahn said that there could also be train cancellations and delays in other parts of southern Germany. Passengers were asked to postpone non-essential journeys to Wednesday.

Southern Germany as well as neighboring Austria and Switzerland have been experiencing heavy snowfall which has affected public transport all over the region and led to alarm about possible avalanches.



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