Icy conditions cause chaos on Sweden's roads
TT/The Local · 4 Jan 2009, 11:01
Published: 04 Jan 2009 11:01 GMT+01:00
20 accidents were reported over three hours on Saturday evening in the county of Skåne due to the icy conditions.
The Swedish Roads Authority (Vägverket) had issued a warning for icy roads from Blekinge in the south to Uppsala in the north on Saturday.
Several accidents were reported during the morning. Ten cars were reported to have collided on the E4 motorway near Vagnhärad in the course of a 15 minute period.
The combination of icy road surface and heavy snow falls made the roads particularly treacherous, according to Södermanland police officer Dennis Meedendorp.
A further ten cars were reported to have collided by the time conditions calmed down in central Sweden in the afternoon.
More than 100 passengers were left stranded at Stockholm Skavsta Airport as Irish airline Ryanair cancelled a flight to Paris as a plane, en-route from Frankfurt, was re-directed to Arlanda Airport, 150 kilometres to the north.
With the main road routes out of the airport blocked due to the slew of traffic accidents and heavy snow, stranded passengers were forced to re-book on a later flight.
Several more flights were delayed at Skavsta throughout the day due to the snow and transport difficulties to and from the airport.
The snow and ice chaos spread south during the day and the counties of Västmanland and Östergötland experienced a wave of car accidents, as did Kronoberg and Blekinge.
The roads authority had warned of localized icy conditions in Skåne and Halland on the west coast and their forecast rang true as reports of several car accidents filtered through during Saturday.
As the evening approached road conditions in the south turned for the worse with 20 traffic accidents reported in Skåne between 4pm and 7pm alone.
"They say that it is very slippery in places. It rained earlier today and temperatures have been above zero and now it has frozen, said Lars Rosberg at Malmö police.
Despite the large number of accidents no serious injuries were reported in the affected areas.