AP NEWS

Man dies in snow-trapped car in Serbia amid bad weather

February 6, 2020 GMT

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — An elderly man has died in his snow-trapped car in Serbia, while blizzards and strong winds left villages and roads blocked during a spate of bad weather in central and eastern Europe.

Serbian police said Thursday they found the man’s body while rescuing around 20 people, including five children, from their blocked cars on a road in southwestern Serbia.

In southern Serbia, the remote Crna Trava municipality declared emergency measures after the snow left around 800 people cut off, authorities said. High snow drifts caused by strong winds have blocked roads and houses in the area.

In neighboring Bosnia, villages in the east of the country were left without electricity on Thursday, while water supplies were cut in the town of Sokolac. Local roads also have been blocked.

The problems on Thursday came after two people died on Wednesday. A child was killed in Slovakia after a traffic sign fell on it, while a man died in the Czech Republic when a tree hit his car.

Croatian police said Thursday they had more than 100 interventions throughout the country because of fallen trees and damaged roofs, cars or power supplies. Gust winds in the country overturned trucks on the roads and blocked sea traffic along the Adriatic Coast.

Media in Croatia also carried Thursday photos of a huge crane that collapsed near the coastal town of Zadar, while a tanker was briefly sent adrift in a bay by the town of Split.

Croatian seismologists also reported a 4.2-magnitude earthquake early Thursday north of the southeastern town of Knin. No injuries or damage were reported.

Romania also reported a night of strong winds and blizzards: an eastbound highway remained closed on Thursday, around 30 trains were canceled, a number of villages have been left without electricity while numerous trees fell down.

In Bulgaria, the main mountain passes that are the only link between the southern and northern parts of the country were closed to traffic because of snowdrifts.

A bus with 40 Romanian tourists was left stranded on the road near the Hainboas mountain pass in central Bulgaria early Thursday. Rescue teams are heading to the scene to provide help.

In northern Bulgaria, many settlements were left without power after heavy snow brought down power lines.

Because of strong winds and heavy snowfall, the Black Sea port of Varna was closed and the city airport had to cancel several flights.

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Veselin Toshkov contributed to this report from Sofia, Bulgaria, and Vadim Ghirda from Bucharest, Romania.