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6 Jan, 2010 01:04

Freezing temperatures and snowfalls grip Europe

Heavy snowfall and plummeting temperatures are gripping Europe, with three bodies pulled from a Swiss avalanche, raising to seven the death toll in the country's worst avalanche disaster in more than a decade.

From the United Kingdom to Poland, schools were shut on Tuesday and travelers faced air, rail and road chaos.

In certain places there have been about 1,500 car incidents an hour, according top some sources.
A majority of flights were cancelled at British airports. This winter has been the coldest in years in Britain, driving a surge in demand for heating fuel.

In Poland, the River Bug reportedly burst its banks, stranding residents in a nearby village, and a state of emergency was declared. Air connection was also hindered.

There has also been traffic disruption in Germany, with icy temperatures and snow affecting most parts of the country.

Meteorologists are warning that the cold might continue for two more weeks.