Icy blast kills 84 across Europe

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The Independent Online
COLD WEATHER and blizzards sweeping parts of Europe claimed more deaths yesterday, bringing the known death toll to 84 people across the Continent in the past few days.

Worst hit were Poland, with 41 cold-related deaths, and Romania, with 30. France reported eight deaths due to cold weather by Monday, and deaths in Bulgaria and Italy accounted for the rest.

Romania's Arctic cold snap began on Friday. The latest deaths included three people who lost control of their cars in icy conditions on Tuesday, said national traffic police.

One homeless man in a village near Bucharest died after he sought shelter in a rubbish bin. Another man was found frozen to death in a tram by the driver, who noticed he did not get off at the last stop.

A man sweeping snow in Bucharest passed out and died, apparently because of the cold, and another man was found frozen to death in a factory in Bucharest where he had sought overnight shelter.

In the county of Tulcea in south-east Romania, schools were closed because of unheated classrooms and roads blocked by heavy snow. Blizzards swept across the region yesterday and temperatures plunged to minus 10C (14F) in pre-dawn hours. (AP)