Two dead in British snow storms, London hit

Britain`s out-of-season cold snap swept into London for the first time today, with snow affecting flights in the capital and causing nationwide traffic chaos in which two people died.

Last Updated: Nov 30, 2010, 18:31 PM IST

London: Britain`s out-of-season cold snap
swept into London for the first time today, with snow
affecting flights in the capital and causing nationwide
traffic chaos in which two people died.

The earliest widespread snowfall of a British winter
since 1993 blanketed Scotland and northeast England at the
weekend and the freezing weather has started moving down
England`s east coast.

London City Airport reported cancellations and severe
delays, although Heathrow, Britain`s busiest airport, said all
flights were operating normally and Gatwick reported "minimal
disruption."

Britain`s Met Office issued severe weather warnings for
most regions.

"Overnight, we`ve had some outbreaks of snow and a lot of
the country has seen some snow showers with accumulations of
2.5 centimetres (one inch) in the southeast and east of
England," forecaster Tom Morgan said.

On St Andrew`s Day, Scotland`s national day, the region
recorded the coldest temperature in Britain overnight with the
mercury dropping to minus 15 degrees Celsius (five degrees
Fahrenheit).

Morgan warned that temperatures would remain "very cold"
around Britain, between 1C (33.8F) to 2C (35.6F), with a
strong north-easterly wind.

Traffic disruption was widespread.
A 53-year-old man was crushed to death when a recovery
truck rolled into two other vehicles in snowy conditions on a
motorway near Doncaster in northern England, police said.

In Lincolnshire in eastern England, a man died when when
his car skidded off an icy road into a ditch, police said.

Police and a local farmer also rescued around 60 stranded
vehicles in the same area.

The snow eased in Scotland and Northern Ireland, which
have been hit by days of freezing conditions with hundreds of
schools closed and a number of Scottish league football
matches postponed.

Edinburgh Airport, Scotland`s busiest air hub, reopened
after closing overnight.

But both Luton and Stansted Airports near London and
Southampton Airport on the south coast reported that some
flights had been affected by the freezing conditions.

Protest leaders, meanwhile, said that thousands of
students would defy the weather and turn out for the latest in
a series of demonstrations in London and other cities against
government plans to raise university tuition fees.

PTI