‘Stay at home’ warning after Skåne snow

Drivers are being told to stay at home in Skåne, after heavy snow and strong winds combined to cause chaos on the roads of southern Sweden on Thursday morning.

Snow has fallen up to 30 centimetres deep in some parts of Skåne, with a large number of car accidents and train and plane delays and cancellations.

Police in the counties of Skåne, Blekinge and Halland have warned of trouble on the roads. In Skåne, the Swedish National Road Administration is advising drivers not to venture out onto the roads.

Swedish meteorological office SMHI on Wednesday issued a class 2 warning for southern Sweden. The warning is the second most serious warning, and means that the weather is expected to cause damage to property and disrupt vital public services.

Police in Skåne received 180 reports of accidents on the roads of the county in the 24 hours to 6 am on Thursday, with many more cars becoming marooned in the snow. No serious injuries had been reported, according to police inspector Erik Jeppsson.

A number of people were still stuck in their cars on Thursday morning. Emergency services were reported to be working to rescue them.

Jeppsson warned that many people in Skåne would not be able to get into work on Thursday. A number of police officers have been unable to report for duty due to the snow.

“Our operators have been very busy, although the situation improved overnight,” he said.

There were also problems on roads further north. In Mölndal, near Gothenburg, a man in his forties died after a collision between a car and a bus. In the same region, between Borås and Ulricehamn, a young man was seriously injured when the car he was in crashed into a tree.

Police in Halland county received reports of 40-50 cars leaving the road. Many of these were foreign cars. Four heavy trucks got stuck on the E6 between Halmstad and Varberg, causing long tailbacks.

Parts of Blekinge were hit by snowdrifts, but there were no serious accidents.

A large number of flights from Copenhagen Kastrup Airport were cancelled on Wednesday, leading to delays at Malmö Sturup. All trains from Malmö were cancelled from 9pm, apart from the night train to Stockholm. Most trains across Skåne were not operating after 9pm, with the cancellations expected to continue through Thursday morning.

Minor delays were also being experienced at Gothenburg Landvetter Airport.

Around 5,000 homes were without electricity on Wednesday night. Of these, 4,000 were in Skåne.

Front page photo: Polly/Welly Girl