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Germany

Frankfurt airport affected by winter weather

Frankfurt's main airport has been hit with further delays and cancellations as it deals with new snowfall following freezing rain. Recent heavy winter weather conditions have halted traffic at airports across Europe.

Fluggäste stehen am 20.01.2013 im Terminal 1 des Flughafens von Frankfurt am Main (Hessen) vor einer Anzeigetafel. Eisregen hat den Frankfurter Flughafen lahmgelegt. Am späten Nachmittag sagte Deutschlands größter Flughafen alle Starts und Landungen ab. Foto: Arne Dedert/dpa +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++

Wetter Blitzeis Flughafen Frankfurt Passagiere

Around 200 flights Monday at Frankfurt International Airport have been cancelled so far due to snow.

A spokesman for the airport's operator, Fraport, had said earlier that further delays would be expected.

The spokesman added that the freezing rain has stopped, but it continues to snow, meaning planes must be de-iced.

It is the second consecutive day of weather-related cancellations. The airport was crippled by freezing rain on Sunday.

Fraport said that crews struggled to de-ice aircraft during the rain that grounded some 450 flights in total.

Other airports - Stuttgart and in Paris - also cancelled flights Sunday.

The severe weather across southwestern Germany also resulted in 800 road accidents and dozens of broken-bone injuries among pedestrians who slipped on ice.

Flights were suspended late afternoon at Frankfurt International, Germany's largest airport. A Fraport spokesman said the ice coatings on aircraft were too thick for normal de-icing work. Parking areas for aircraft were full and incoming flights were being diverted, and terminals were packed with passengers.

Delays also at Heathrow, Paris

Persistent snow also forced Heathrow, London's largest hub, to annul some flights on Sunday. Paris' main airports, Charles-de-Gaulle and Orly, cancelled 40 percent of their flights.

In Germany's southwestern state of Baden Württemberg, at least two autobahn stretches, near Karlsruhe and Baden-Baden were closed to allow maintenance vehicles to spread ice-melting salt and grit.

Europe's cold snap also left slippery roads in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

In the Scottish Highlands on Saturday, an avalanche killed four climbers and seriously injured one, while a sixth survived, police said.

In the Netherlands police blamed numerous ice skaters who fell through waterway ice for failing to wait long enough for it to thicken.

Tragedy during exercise

A lifeguard died on Saturday at Geraberg in Germany's Thuringia state when a practice turned to tragedy.

The 24-year-old became trapped under an iced-over swimming pool into which Red Cross members had hacked holes to practice hauling out victims, according to the German news agency DPA.

A breakdown at a central heating plant in western Hamburg on Sunday, left 25,000 homes without hot water in the suburbs of Bahrenfeld, Altona and Eimsbüttel. Clinics were provided with mobile heating units.

ipj,dr/hc (dpa, dapd, AFP)