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Heavy snowfall jams highways in Italy

posted 18 Dec 2010, 06:33 by Mpelembe   [ updated 18 Dec 2010, 06:36 ]

Motorists are stuck on highways and forced to spend the night in their cars in central Italy after heavy snow sweeps the country.

BOLOGNA AND TUSCANY REGION, ITALY (DECEMBER 17-18, 2010) SKY ITALIA -Long queues of vehicles remained on highways in central Italy on Saturday (December 18) morning after heavy snowfall swept through the country on Friday (December 17).

Snow and icy conditions following a sudden temperature plunge led to traffic jams, with trucks and cars coming to a standstill in the freezing weather.

Thousands of drivers got stuck in long traffic jams on the highway between the cities of Florence and Bologna, unable to move their vehicles after getting stuck in the snow and patches of ice.

According to Italian media reports, drivers stuck on motorways in the Tuscany region complained of having to spend the night in their cars, cold and without help.

Some drivers said they had spent over 15 hours in freezing conditions.

The severe weather also disrupted rail and air travel. Airports in Florence and Pisa closed on Friday due to snow and bad visibility.

Railways were slowly returning to normal service on Saturday, Italian media reported.