Heavy snow in Germany, Austria causes chaos for travelers

Coral singer in traditional costumes walk through the snow in Eglingen, southern Germany, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019. (Thomas Warnack/dpa via AP)

Heavy snow closes roads, cancels flights and suspends trains in parts of Germany and Austria

BERLIN — Heavy snow caused travel chaos in parts of Germany and Austria as authorities closed roads and train routes because of avalanche danger and airports reported weather-related cancelations Saturday.

Munich Airport, Germany's second biggest, said 120 flights were canceled and others were delayed while workers cleared runways of snow and removed ice from planes.

German police said one person died and two people were seriously injured when their car skidded into oncoming traffic on icy roads near the town of Bad Toelz.

In Austria, training and the qualification stage for the annual Four Hills ski jump tournament was canceled after more than 50 centimeters (20 inches) of fresh snow fell overnight.

Authorities closed roads around Bischofshofen, where the competition is being held. Austrian railway company OeBB said several train connections in the country were suspended due to the avalanche risk.

Salzburg regional authorities warned against off-trail skiing, adding that "many large, several very large avalanches are likely in the afternoon and overnight" that could affect roads and rail lines.

Austrian public broadcaster ORF reported that the small village of St. Johann was evacuated because authorities feared strong winds could trigger a large avalanche. Meanwhile, some 600 residents and tourists were stuck in the village of Soelktal following a road closure, the station reported.

Innsbruck airport said "current weather conditions have caused major restrictions in air traffic" and urged travelers to check their flight status before heading to the airport.

Significant snowfall is forecast for southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland in coming days.

Separately, authorities in Greece reported travel disruptions due to snowfall in the north of the country.

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