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Swedes warned to stay home on New Year's Eve

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Swedes warned to stay home on New Year's Eve
File photo: TT
09:52 CET+01:00
The Swedish Transport Administration has warned Swedes to keep off the roads this New Year's Eve due to ice with several fatal accidents reported in the past 24 hours.
Ice and freezing rain caused a degree of havoc on Sweden's roads on Tuesday. The situation is at its most treacherous in northern and southern Norrbotten where the Transport Administration has warned drivers not to venture out on the roads.
 
"Officials have received reports that it is so slippery that this warning is justified," said Lennart Mossberg at the agency.
 
In Västerbotten and in some areas in Västernorrland bus services were at a standstill in the evening due to the slippery road conditions. Three buses drove into the ditch in Skellefteå although no injuries were reported. The Local's northern Sweden reporter Paul Connolly was one of the locals who suffered as the roads froze.
 
"I was stuck on a hill yesterday evening due to the ice. Couldn’t go up, didn’t want to slide down,"  he said. "It took me an hour to drive what usually takes me 10 minutes."
 
There were also several reports of several larger vehicles stranded due to the ice. Some local police authorities also issued warnings.
 
"It was very slippery in some places. One of our units in Örnsköldsvik said that there was basically a sheet of ice," said Jan-Erik Eriksson at Västernorrland Police.
 
>At least three serious traffic accidents were reported on Tuesday. An elderly man was killed in a collision with a bus in Hälsingland and during the night two youths were killed in Ångermanland when the car they were travelling in collided with a truck.
 
Furthermore two cars crashed between Sveg and Älvros on the E45 highway at around 2.15pm on Tuesday, killing one of the drivers.
 
"The other driver was taken to hospital by ambulance. I have no further information," said Urban Dahlbäck at Jämtland Police.
 
One of the vehicles is reported to have been driving carelessly and had, prior to the fatal collision, caused a number of minor accidents. 
 
"It's best if you don't head out on the roads at all, but if you do, take it easy and leave a safe distance to other vehicles," said Tomas Wretling at Västerbotten police.
 
The treacherous conditions have been caused by warmer temperatures after a period of extreme cold which has left the ground frozen.
 
"It's always tricky with these kinds of transitions when we've had real cold and then we get a shift to milder air in combination with rainfall," said Lovisa Andersson at Swedish weather agency SMHI.
 
SMHI has issued a class one warning (on an ascending scale of three) for Dalarna, Västerbotten and Västernorrland due to the freezing rain.
 
"It's worth staying a little updated and taking it easy today," Lovisa Andersson said.
 
The Transport Administration has warned that there is a generalized risk of icy roads across the entire country on New Year's Eve as temperatures are set to remain around zero in many parts with a chance of rain. 
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