Snow and Ice Strands Thousands of Motorists in the French Alps


Snow and ice in the French Alps have stranded thousands of vehicles for a second day, snarling up holiday traffic to and from ski resorts.

The authorities in the Savoy region said up to 15,000 people spent Saturday night in emergency accommodation.

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Meanwhile, hundreds of air passengers were stranded at an airport in Chambery with some reporting a lack of facilities.

The cold snap has also caused disruption in the UK and Germany.

Conditions improved on Sunday, with French forecasters lifting an orange weather alert – France’s second highest – of ice and snow, according to French media reports.

The French government had earlier urged drivers to “exercise the utmost caution” and avoid travel if possible.

One man reportedly died on Saturday when his vehicle slid into a ravine in the Isere region, while another man was reported killed in an avalanche on Sunday.

Three more people died in snow-related incidents across France earlier in the week, the French daily Le Monde reports.

Separately, a British ski company called Crystal Ski says it has arranged emergency flights to help bring home hundreds of holidaymakers stuck at Chambery Airport, in the Savoy region.

Local gyms and community halls were opened up as shelters for stranded motorists on Saturday.

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