Frankfurt Airport partially re-opens after heavy snow

FRANKFURT (AFP) - Frankfurt Airport, Europe's third-busiest hub, was able to re-open two runways on Tuesday afternoon, a spokesman said, after earlier being forced to close completely due to heavy snow.

"Two runways are open for a few take-offs and landings. Around 700 flights out of 1,250 scheduled have been cancelled," an airport spokeswoman said.

A spokeswoman for German flag carrier Lufthansa said there had been "massive disruption" to their flights to and from Frankfurt.

"All services within Germany and Europe have been cancelled for the rest of the day. Long-haul flights are being operated as far as possible," she said.

"There will also be cancellations and delays tomorrow," the spokeswoman warned.

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 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.