Five dead after snow, ice and floods cause chaos

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The Independent Online

A climber fell to his death in Snowdonia yesterday and four people were killed on the roads as freezing weather descended across Britain.

A climber fell to his death in Snowdonia yesterday and four people were killed on the roads as freezing weather descended across Britain.

The heaviest snowfalls so far this winter made driving treacherous in central and southern England and Wales. The West Country was hit by flooding as 3.5in of rain fell. Forecasters said western parts of the country could see more sleet or snow and police warned motorists to beware of snow and ice. In worst-affected areas they were advising drivers to avoid travelling if possible.

The climbing accident happened when two men slid 400ft near the summit of the 3,000ft peak Y Garn. Roger Jones, leader of Ogwen rescue team, said the climbers were near the top of a gully when one slipped and the other followed.

They were flown to Gwynedd hospital, where the more seriously injured climber, a man of 25, died.

The weather was blamed for road accidents across southern England.

A boy of two died when he was thrown from a skidding car in Oxshott, Surrey and a woman died near Hungerford, Berkshire when a motorist slowed to help at the scene of a crash but was hit from behind by a goods vehicle.

At Milton, Oxfordshire, a driver was killed when a vehicle skidded into a lorry and at Chipping Warden, Northhants a man died in a collision.

Flooding was worst in Cornwall, where a month's rain fell in 36 hours.

The only places where the cold snap brought cheer were Scotland's winter-sports centres, which opened for the first weekend of the season.

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