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Europe snow: 20 dead as heavy snow continues to fall across continent

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 11/01/2019 Megan White

a man that is standing in the snow: People clear snow from inside the Hotel Saentis in Schwaegalp, Switzerland (AP) © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited People clear snow from inside the Hotel Saentis in Schwaegalp, Switzerland (AP) At least 20 people have died after heavy snowfall continued to batter Europe, with two snowboarders killed in an avalanche in Bulgaria on Friday.

Bad weather has closed down schools, left some remote villages cut off and disrupted traffic and power supplies in the Balkans.

The Bulgarian Red Cross said the snowboarders' bodies were found at 12pm in the Pirin Mountains, and claimed that the two triggered the avalanche that killed them after ignoring warnings.

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Heavy snow has caused fatal avalanches in Germany and Austria, and also caused flights to be cancelled at Frankfurt and Munich Airports.

In Germany, the driver of a snow plow died after his vehicle toppled into an icy river.

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

a group of people riding skis on top of a snow covered mountain: German forces Bundeswehr soldiers clear a snow covered roof of a swimming hall in Berchtegaden (AP) © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited German forces Bundeswehr soldiers clear a snow covered roof of a swimming hall in Berchtegaden (AP)

Austrian military helicopters had to rescue 66 German teenagers from a mountain guest house on Friday where they had been stuck for several days.

In Salzburg, all parks, public gardens, play areas and cemeteries were closed Friday because of the danger of trees falling under the weight of snow.

Cats are seen in front of a snow-covered house in Abtenau, Austria (REUTERS) © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited Cats are seen in front of a snow-covered house in Abtenau, Austria (REUTERS)

In eastern Switzerland, police said three people were hurt when an avalanche hit a hotel at Schwaegalp on Thursday afternoon.

Albania's Energy Ministry said a power company employee suffered a fatal heart attack while repairing damaged supply lines.

a man that is standing in the snow: A woman makes her way on a bicycle at the early morning after heavy snow fall in Munich, Germany (AP) © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited A woman makes her way on a bicycle at the early morning after heavy snow fall in Munich, Germany (AP)

About 2,000 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.

Serbian state TV reported that several municipalities in the southwest of the country have introduced emergency measures, warning of snow piling up on the roads and sealing off mountain villages.

a man riding a snowboard down a snow covered slope: A man shovels snow from the roof of his house in a remote village near Kladanj, 80 kms north of Sarajevo, Bosnia (AP) © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited A man shovels snow from the roof of his house in a remote village near Kladanj, 80 kms north of Sarajevo, Bosnia (AP)

Most schools in the area closed down and 10 people had to be rescued from their homes, with strong winds causing complications.

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