News World More pain coming for snow-buried Europe as death toll rises
Updated:

More pain coming for snow-buried Europe as death toll rises

snow-shovellng
People clear snow from inside the Hotel Saentis in Schwaegalp, Switzerland, on Friday Jan. 11, 2019, after an avalanche. Photo: AAP
Share
Tweet Share Reddit Pin Email Comment

Up to two more metres of snow is forecast for Europe, only adding to the mountains of fresh powder caving in roofs, cutting off towns, causing  traffic gridlock and triggering deadly avalanches.

The massive storm has claimed 21 lives across Europe in the past 10 days, including that of a Sydney teenager who was buried under two metres of snow after an avalanche in Austria.

max-meyer-avalanche-death
The school sent an email to parents saying Max Meyer’s (pictured) life had been “tragically cut short”.

The family issued an emergency call for help after being unable to get down the mountain trapped in deep snow. An avalanche hit them while waiting for rescuers to arrive, burying the mother and her teenage son, Max Meyer.

Police said the boy’s mother freed herself and was uninjured but her son was “completely buried and trapped for 20 minutes, according to the ABC. He could not be revived.

And now, Europe is bracing itself for more, with a fresh system sweeping south from the North Sea, across France and moving into the alpine regions of Europe with “significant” amounts of snow.

Snowfalls are forecast even for parts of Greece and Turkey in coming days.

The roof of a warehouse collapsed under the snow load in Bavaria. Photo: AAP

“There are still a number of active weather systems in a number of these locations, with more significant weather to come into the heart of Europe over the next 48 hours or so,” BBC weather forecaster Philip Avery said on Saturday.

snow-panoramic-trail
The Valaska panoramic trail under the top of the Tanecnice Mountain in Moravian-Silesian Beskids mountain range, Czech Republic. Photo: AAP
europe snow
A car under snow in Ramsau am Dachstein, Austria. Photo: AFP/Getty
snow-fireman-trees
Firemen remove fallen trees from a road in Jetrichovice, Czech Republic. Photo: AAP

At another alpine resort, workers at the Hotel Saentis in eastern Switzerland were seen knee-deep shovelling snow after a 300-metre wide avalanche smashed through the hotel’s windows on Thursday afternoon.

europe snow storm
Workers at the Swiss hotel clearing snow after the avalanche. Photo: AAP
snow-storms-europe
Search and rescue workers in Schwaegalp, Switzerland, after an avalanche hit the Hote Saentisl. Photo: AAP

Local police said the avalanche killed at least four people and injured three, according to the ABC.

Meanwhile, in Bulgaria’s south-west Pirin Mountains, the Bulgarian Red Cross reported two snowboarders died in an avalanche.

A snowplough driver also died in Germany on Friday after his vehicle toppled into an icy river.

germany-snow
A snow-covered road at Marienberg in the Ore mountains in eastern Germany. Photo: AAP

In Albania, the energy ministry said a power company employee suffered a fatal heart attack while repairing damaged network lines.

europe snow storm
A shovel excavator working in Obertauern, Austria. Photo: AFP/Getty

About 2000 soldiers and other emergency workers in Albania were assigned to help people trapped by snow and to clear roads to restore access to rural areas.

In Slovakia, the mountain rescue service said a 37-year-old man was killed by an avalanche in the Malà Fatra mountains.

snow-cutter-czech-republic
A man with a snow cutter clears a road during a heavy snowfall in the north-western mountain region of the Czech Republic. Photo: AAP

A seven-year-old child was killed by a falling tree weighed down by snow in Aying, near Munich, and further concerns about snow forced the cancellation of 120 flights at Frankfurt airport and 90 flights at Munich airport, German news agency DPA reported.

munich-snow-cyclist
A woman makes her way on a bicycle at the early morning after heavy snow fall in Munich, Germany. Photo: AAP

Six German teenagers are lucky to be alive after emerging from an avalanche that engulfed them at the Wildkogel resort in Austria’s Salzburg province.

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

austria-snow
A snow blower on the Loferer Alp in Lofer, Austrian province of Salzburg. Photo: AAP

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.

Jet fighter disappears during Swiss border snowstorm

Meanwhile, French military authorities have said a pilot and a navigator were killed when a fighter jet disappeared during a training flight while flying in a snowstorm near the Swiss border.

More than 100 rescuers, police officers and others searched icy mountains for the Mirage 2000D and the two-person crew after it disappeared from radar on Wednesday local time.

The French air force said on Thursday night that the pair had died and identified them as Captain Baptiste Chirie, a combat pilot with 24 war missions and Lieutenant Audrey Michelon, an arms systems navigator who participated in 97 war missions.

The air force did not detail the cause of the accident.

-with agencies

Comments
View Comments