Woman found frozen to death after snow brings chaos to Britain


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The Independent Online

Bitterly cold weather is thought to be responsible for a number of deaths across the UK, including a woman believed to have frozen to death after collapsing in deep snow as she walked home from a night out.

Bernadette Lee, 25, was discovered in the front garden of the house next to her sister's home in Deal in Kent on Sunday morning, following one of the coldest nights of the year. Police said they were looking at the possibility that the dental nurse got into difficulties as she made her way home.

Her death follows that of postman John Bircham, who died while carrying out his rounds in Exmoor, Somerset, during the weekend's freezing temperatures.

Forecasters said last night that the cold snap is not yet over. One last burst of heavy snow is expected across parts of Britain today before an expected relief from the blizzard conditions of the last four days.

With much of the country snowbound, thousands of schools closed and transport services struggling to cope, Tuesday will be difficult again as heavy snowfalls hit regions as far apart as South Wales and Northern Scotland.

From Wednesday, conditions are likely to become more settled, although ice will continue to cause havoc for the rest of the week, with temperatures remaining below the seasonal average.

Many rail services and flights were suspended or cancelled on Monday, including flights from London's Heathrow airport, which lost about 10 per cent of its services, while other airports including Gatwick and Birmingham also experienced disruptions. The weather led to nearly 5,000 schools remaining closed, affecting a million pupils.

Those who missed exams are being told they can ask for special consideration – which could lead to them being awarded grades for work already done or predictions of grades. Exam boards were adamant that rescheduling yesterday's papers was "not an option", but this could put in question the integrity of the system as some schools have accessed the papers.