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Frankfurt Airport partially re-opens after heavy snow

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Frankfurt Airport, Europe's third-busiest hub, was able to re-open one runway for takeoffs only on Tuesday afternoon, a spokesman said, after being forced to close completely due to heavy snow.

"Since 13:30 pm (1230 GMT), we have one runway available. A few flights have been able to take off. Landings are still not possible," an airport spokesman told AFP.

He said that 355 flights had been cancelled, out of a scheduled daily total of 1,250.

Like much of Europe, Germany has been battered by unseasonably cold weather.

Public transport in Berlin has also been affected, with several regional trains cancelled or severely delayed.

There was also a spate of crashes on icy roads with several people seriously hurt and one death, according to police.

A mass pile-up in the western German state of Hesse involving at least 100 vehicles injured several dozen. The crash was apparently caused by heavy snowfall and icy roads.

The freezing conditions were set to continue, with the German weather service (DWD) forecasting temperatures as low as minus 10 Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit) on Tuesday, with more heavy snowfall in parts of the country.

Across Europe, thousands have been without power and others left stranded in their cars as they were caught flat-footed by a late-winter snowstorm.

France was the worst affected but Britain, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands also reported major disruptions.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130312/frankfurt-airport-partially-re-opens-after-heavy-snow