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Sweden's E22 road still closed to traffic after snow gridlock

The Local Sweden
The Local Sweden - [email protected]
Sweden's E22 road still closed to traffic after snow gridlock
Trucks stuck on the E22 on Thursday evening. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Evacuation efforts on southern Sweden’s E22 road – where around 1,000 vehicles were stuck for almost two days in gridlock caused by heavy snowfall – were completed on Thursday, but the road won’t reopen until Friday afternoon.

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The road had originally been set to reopen at 4am, but damages to the median strip barrier, which was cut open by rescue services to help vehicles get out, turned out to be greater than previously thought.

Police, emergency services, traffic authorities and the Armed Forces have been working day and night on the E22 between Hörby and Kristianstad, where the incident started on Wednesday morning when trucks slowly ground to a halt on the snowy and slippery road.

Then as more cars got stuck behind them, the snow kept building up to the point where no one could get anywhere.

The Local spoke with Niclas Nordström, a truck driver who was freed after 20 hours.

"I've never, ever, ever been in anything like this and I've been driving for 30 years. There hasn't been such bad weather in Skåne since 1979 or whatever it was, when the whole of Skåne was snowed under," he said.

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Some people had to be picked up by ambulance and many others of those who received help were described as cold, hungry and tired. No serious injuries have however so far been reported.

The cold front, which caused temperatures to drop below -40C in northern Sweden, is set to stick around until the weekend, and temperatures below freezing are predicted for the entire country. The mercury is expected to slowly start edging upwards by Saturday.

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