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Powerful snow storms hammer the Balkans; at least 6 dead


Freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall have killed at least 6 people and caused travel chaos across the Balkans (courtesy: Brunivac/YouTube)
Freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall have killed at least 6 people and caused travel chaos across the Balkans (courtesy: Brunivac/YouTube)

Staff writers

December 9, 2012 — Freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall have contributed to the deaths of at least six people and caused travel chaos across the Balkans, with rescue teams struggling to reach passengers stranded in buses and cars in Serbia on Sunday.

Heavy snowfall has made for treacherous driving conditions across the Balkans (courtesy: Brunivac/YouTube)
Heavy snowfall has made for treacherous driving conditions across the Balkans (courtesy: Brunivac/YouTube)

Officials have confirmed that at least 4 people have died in Croatia and two others in Serbia as a result of the blizzards that hammerd southwestern Europe over the weekend.

The heavy snowfall caused chaos both on the roads and in the air -- shutting down airports, and blocking roads and public transportation in big cities.

People travelling in vehicles waited for hours on several roads in Serbia's northern province of Vojvodina, including the main highway leading from Belgrade to the Hungarian border, before rescue teams could free them from 50 cm of snow that had fallen in just a few hours.

A woman gave birth to a healthy baby in a stranded truck on her way to a hospital, and named her Snezana, or Snow White in Serbian, state TV reported.

Ivica Dacic, who serves as Serbia's prime minister and interior minister, ordered all available police personnel to take part in the rescue operations.

The airport in Zagreb, Croatia, was closed for several hours Saturday, and some of that nation's roads were closed because of high winds and heavy snow. The situation improved in Croatia on Sunday, but a warning against driving remained in place because of icy roads.

Authorities in Serbia and Croatia warned people to stay indoors.

Blizzards have also hit Slovenia and Bosnia.

As the storms headed east across the Balkans on Sunday, Romania's army was trying to clear snowbound roads as the country voted in a parliamentary election.


With files from The Associated Press

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