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Munich Airport (on 2 December): Numerous flights cancelled

Photo: Louisa Off / REUTERS

The heavy snowfall and sub-zero temperatures continue to cause problems in large parts of Germany. Bavaria is the hardest hit. Trains and flights were also cancelled there on Monday, and schools remained closed. The state of emergency will continue, at least in parts: Due to an announced freezing rain, there will be no take-offs and landings at Munich Airport on Tuesday from the start of operations until 12:00 noon. This was announced by a spokesman for the airport.

Already on Monday, around 540 of 880 planned flights had been canceled, as a spokesman had previously said. Among other things, aircraft still have to be de-iced and areas on the runways cleared.

Deutsche Bahn (DB) also expects disruptions in Bavaria until midweek. Travellers have been urged to postpone non-essential journeys until 6 December. The heavy snowfall had paralyzed rail traffic in large parts of southern Germany on the first weekend of Advent. Fallen trees, icy overhead lines and snow-covered trains made journeys impossible.

"In many places, overhead lines were de-energized or pantographs sank under the snow load. The prolonged interruption of the power supply in cold weather meant that some vehicles can no longer be activated and have to be towed," DB said.

As the DB announced at the end of November, it owns only 13 "railway-owned clearing vehicles" in Bavaria – out of 9800,<> kilometers of track in the southern region. In addition, there are seven light snow removal vehicles – four multifunctional maintenance vehicles for the rail infrastructure and three track work vehicles." Travellers and commuters therefore had to prepare for delays and train cancellations on Monday. Munich's main train station was only in operation to a very limited extent.

Schools remained closed on Monday

Traffic has been running on the roads again since Sunday afternoon. However, there was a lot of snow, especially on side roads, and the masses of snow on the roadsides often made it difficult to avoid them. There are still isolated accidents, but mostly it remains with sheet metal damage, reported a spokesman for the police headquarters Upper Bavaria South. "Drivers in Upper Bavaria are familiar with such conditions and can cope with them."

In the districts of Starnberg and Mühldorf am Inn, many schools remained closed on Monday. In some cases, distance learning was to be offered. In Augsburg, too, 20 schools were to be temporarily closed completely or partially, according to the city administration. The reason for this is the masses of snow that weigh on the roofs of the buildings. After the snow has thawed, the buildings would have to be checked for their statics.

Car accidents and one death due to slippery roads and snow

Northeast of Heilbronn in Baden-Württemberg, a woman died after a bus collided with her car. The bus had probably come into oncoming traffic near Zweiflingen because of the slippery conditions and collided with the car there, as the police announced on Monday. The driver was thrown out and injured so badly that she died at the scene of the accident.

In Rhineland-Palatinate, more than 50 traffic accidents were recorded between Monday noon and Monday afternoon at the Mainz police headquarters, the police said. Two people were slightly injured, according to the information. "The urban area of Mainz is affected, as are motorways, country roads and rural areas in Rheinhessen, Hunsrück and Donnersbergkreis," it continued. The towing services were so busy that some accident sites could not be cleared.

In several districts, bus services were suspended, and in some cases students were still on board when the announcement came to stop driving. They stayed on the bus until parents picked them up.

In Saarland, the police recorded 25 snow-related operations by the afternoon: These included stalled vehicles and minor accidents, as a spokesman said.

In North Rhine-Westphalia, four centimetres of fresh snow also led to accidents: near Niederkassel in the Rhein-Sieg district, a motorist suffered minor injuries because her car overturned on a snow-covered road. It landed on the roof next to the roadway. Near Lohmar, the car of a 28-year-old driver collided with the sliding blade of an oncoming clearing vehicle after it had slipped, according to the 28-year-old. In Linnich in the district of Düren, a 34-year-old woman slipped with her car and crashed into two house walls. She was also slightly injured.

Girls broke into frozen lake, burglars caught thanks to tracks in the snow

The cold almost cost the lives of two girls in Stuttgart: The schoolgirls fell into the lake of fire in the Vaihingen district on Monday morning after the ice had collapsed under them. The girls rescued themselves from the cold water, according to the fire department. The ambulance service took her to a children's hospital with hypothermia. Fire brigade divers who were already approaching were able to abort their mission, according to the information. The fire brigade warned against stepping on ice surfaces. These are currently very unstable.

The snow also caused accidents in the north: Between Wacken and Nienbüttel, a semitrailer slid into the ditch on a snow-slick road and overturned. The 50-year-old driver was slightly injured after the accident on Monday, the police said.

But the snow also had its good side: By making shoe tracks in the snow, the police convicted suspected burglars in the Upper Palatinate. A man had discovered suspicious tracks leading around several houses in Birgland on Sunday and alerted the emergency services. According to the police on Monday, a homeowner then determined that his shed may have been broken into. At the same time, two men aged 24 and 39 were arrested in neighbouring Alfeld. By comparing their shoes with the snow tracks, the officers determined: It was probably the two men who had left their tracks in the snow.