The Latest: Europe cold snap hits as far south as Spain

LONDON — The Latest on the wintry weather conditions across Europe (all times local):

5:10 p.m.

Europe's cold snap has caused difficulties as far south as Spain, where heavy snow has fallen in northern regions and a man died after falling on ice.

In the northeastern Catalonia region, 272 schools cancelled classes. Also, Catalan authorities closed roads and placed restrictions on the movement of trucks weighing more than 7.5 metric tons (8.3 tons).

Across northern areas, train services and flights were delayed, causing travel chaos.

Development Minister Manuel Nino told a news conference Wednesday that more than 1,000 snowplows are on duty and some 180 metric tons (198 tons) of salt are being spread on main roads.

Spanish news agency Europa Press reported that a 65-year-old man died in the Bilbao region after slipping in the street and hitting his head.


2:45 p.m.

German news agency dpa has reported that a man has been found dead on a frozen river in northern Germany amid continuing subzero temperatures across the country.

Police say that the 38-year old man likely died early Wednesday in Winsen near Hamburg, according to dpa.

Firefighters recovered the body after they were alerted by a passer-by.

Police say the man likely first walked across a frozen pond and then continued on to the frozen surface of the Luhe river where he supposedly broke into the ice. He managed to take off his wet winter coat, but wasn't able to pull himself off the ice and crawl to the banks of the river.


2:20 p.m.

Formula One testing was delayed by snowfall at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona on Wednesday, forcing drivers on to wet tires when the snow eventually melted.

Parts of the track near Barcelona were covered in snow when teams arrived, forcing cars to stay in the garage during the morning.

The track opened at noon local time (1100 GMT) after visibility improved and the medical helicopter was able to fly.

Cold weather also affected the first two days of testing, keeping teams from learning much about the new 2018 cars as the track remained without enough grip for proper runs.


1:55 p.m.

Dutch police say a 75-year-old man has died after falling through ice, likely while skating, in the southern Netherlands.

Police said in a tweet Wednesday that the man, whose identity was not released, died in a hospital in the city of Breda where he was rushed after being spotted in the water near a frozen stretch of water.

Skating fever grips the Netherlands when the country's canals, rivers and lakes freeze over, with many people taking to the ice amid warnings and safety tips from authorities and emergency services.


1:50 p.m.

Sweden's meteorological institute says it has upped its weather warning to level three on a six-step scale because of snowfalls of up to 15 centimeters (6 inches) in the capital, Stockholm, and the southern part of the country.

The Swedish Transport Administration also warned Wednesday that strong winds could affect road and rail traffic, and urged people in the affected areas to stay home unless necessary.

The announcements came two days after three people were killed in a head-on collision in northern Sweden amid heavy snowfall on Swedish roads.


1 p.m.

Serbia and Slovenia have reported their first cold-related deaths in a snap of freezing weather that has gripped much of Europe this week.

Slovenia's weather agency said Wednesday morning was the coldest this year and the temperatures were expected to drop further on Thursday.

Authorities said an elderly man died of cold when he went out to collect wood near Maribor, close to Slovenia's border with Austria.

The lowest temperature in Slovenia was minus 27 degrees Celsius (minus 16.6 F), recorded south of the capital, Ljubljana.

In southern Serbia, a man suffering from dementia was found frozen to death Wednesday after he disappeared from his home two days ago.

Freezing weather has limited traffic and closed down schools in neighboring Croatia. Snow has fallen even along the Adriatic coast.


12:45 p.m.

France's national weather agency, Meteo France, says a large part of the country is on alert for dangerous levels of snow, ice and violent wind.

The area includes 47 departments near the Atlantic coast, in western France and near the Mediterranean Sea.

The snow disrupted public transportation and traffic near the southern city of Montpellier, while several flights scheduled at the local airport were delayed because of the bad weather.

Urging people to limit their movement, Meteo France says the snowy episode will continue until Friday.


11:50 a.m.

Persistent snow and freezing conditions are causing delays in many parts of Britain, with roads and train service hit particularly hard.

Many rail systems were disrupted, in the northern and eastern parts of Britain, and several lines of London's subway system were experiencing severe delays, including the Piccadilly Line that links central London to Heathrow Airport.

Train service to Gatwick Airport was also slowed by wintry weather.

Emergency officials said many drivers had to be rescued from stranded vehicles. Hundreds of schools were shut for a second day in a row.

The weather also forced a number of hospitals to cancel elective procedures and outpatient care.

In Denmark, police say a 54-year-old man who suffered from dementia was found dead in the snow on the Baltic Sea island of Bornholm.

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