Texarkana, TX 61° View Live Radar Wed H 43° L 28° Thu H 54° L 28° Fri H 47° L 33° Weather Sponsored By:

Avalanches, accidents bring Europe's winter death toll to 21

Avalanches, accidents bring Europe's winter death toll to 21

January 12th, 2019 by Associated Press in International News

People clear a roof from snow in Lofer, Austrian province of Salzburg, Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. In Salzburg, all parks, public gardens, play areas and cemeteries were closed on Friday because of the danger of trees falling under the weight of snow.(AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson)

BELGRADE, Serbia—Heavy snow paralyzed much of Europe for yet another day, cutting off mountain villages, sparking avalanches like one that crashed into a Swiss hotel and killing at least four more people Friday.

Workers at the Hotel Saentis in eastern Switzerland spent Friday shoveling out hip-deep snow after a 330-yard-wide avalanche smashed through the hotel's windows Thursday afternoon and piled up in rooms and the dining hall. Police said three people were hurt by avalanche in Schwaegalp.

In all, at least 21 weather-related deaths have been reported in Europe in the last 10 days.

The Bulgarian Red Cross said two snowboarders were killed died in an avalanche in southwest Bulgaria's Pirin Mountains.

A snowplow driver died Friday in Germany after his vehicle toppled into an icy river, while an electrical worker in Albania suffered a fatal heart attack while repairing damaged power lines.

Austrian military helicopters on Friday flew 66 German teenagers out of a mountain guest house where they had been stuck for several days.

About 2,000 soldiers and other emergency workers in Albania were assigned to help people trapped by snow and to clear roads to restore access to cutoff villages.

Several towns and cities in southwest Serbia introduced emergency measures, warning of snow piling up on the roads and sealing off mountain villages, Serbian state TV reported Friday. Most schools in the area closed down and 10 people had to be rescued from their homes. Strong winds complicated the work of emergency crews.

In neighboring Montenegro, meteorologist Dragan Buric said the first 10 days of January have been among the coldest the country has seen in decades.

"We have snow in January in the capital city (Podgorica) for the first time in nine years," Buric told Montenegrin state TV.

In the central Bosnian municipality of Kladanj, snow disrupted power supplies and cut phone lines. Zijad Vejzovic, from the civil protection agency, said authorities declared an emergency.

"Because of heavy snow, in some parts over 1 meter (3 feet) high, some of the roads have been blocked," he explained. "We need more machines. We have run out of resources and money."

In Germany and Austria, where heavy snow caused fatal avalanches and major disruptions in the past few days, the situation was easing Friday. Still, airlines canceled around 120 flights at Frankfurt Airport and 90 at Munich Airport because of concerns about snow.

Police in Lenggries, south of Munich, said the 48-year-old snowplow driver was rescued from the river after several hours but died in a hospital.

In the eastern German city of Chemnitz, all burials at the municipal cemetery through Monday were called off because of snow.

In the elegant Austrian city of Salzburg, all parks, public gardens, play areas and cemeteries were closed Friday because of the danger posed by trees cracking under the weight of snow.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Texarkana Gazette Comments Policy

The Texarkana Gazette web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Gazette web sites and any content on the Gazette web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Gazette, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Gazette web sites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Texarkana Gazette
15 Pine Street
Texarkana, TX 75501
Phone: 903-794-3311
Email: webeditor@texarkanagazette.com