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Avalanches, accidents bring Europe's winter death toll to 21

AP  |  Belgrade 

Heavy paralysed much of for yet another day, cutting off mountain villages, sparking avalanches like one that crashed into a Swiss hotel and killing at least four more people Friday.

Workers at the in eastern spent Friday shovelling out hip-deep after a 300-metre wide smashed through the hotel's windows Thursday afternoon and piled up in rooms and the dining hall.

Police said three people were hurt by in Schwaegalp.

In all, at least 21 weather-related deaths have been reported in in the last 10 days.

The said two snowboarders were killed died in an in southwest Bulgaria's

A snowplow died Friday in after his vehicle toppled into an icy river, while an in suffered a fatal heart attack while repairing damaged power lines.

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

About 2,000 soldiers and other emergency workers in were assigned to help people trapped by and to clear roads to restore access to cutoff villages.

Several towns and cities in southwest introduced emergency measures, warning of snow piling up on the roads and sealing off mountain villages, Serbian state TV reported Friday.

Most schools in the area closed down and 10 people had to be rescued from their homes. Strong winds complicated the work of emergency crews.

In neighbouring Montenegro, said the first 10 days of January have been among the coldest the country has seen in decades.

"We have snow in January in the capital city (Podgorica) for the first time in nine years," Buric told Montenegrin state TV.

In the central Bosnian municipality of Kladanj, snow disrupted power supplies and cut phone lines. Zijad Vejzovic, from the civil protection agency, said authorities declared an emergency.

"Because of heavy snow, in some parts over 1 metre high, some of the roads have been blocked," he explained. "We need more machines. We have run out of resources and money."

In and Austria, where heavy snow caused fatal avalanches and major disruptions in the past few days, the situation was easing Friday. Still, airlines cancelled around 120 flights at and 90 at Airport because of concerns about snow.

Police in Lenggries, south of Munich, said the 48-year-old snowplow was rescued from the river after several hours but died in a hospital.

In the eastern German city of Chemnitz, all burials at the municipal cemetery through Monday were called off because of snow.

In the elegant Austrian city of Salzburg, all parks, public gardens, play areas and cemeteries were closed Friday because of the danger posed by trees cracking under the weight of snow.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, January 12 2019. 03:10 IST
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