Snow in Spain traps thousands of people in cars overnight


Spanish police and soldiers have rescued thousands of people trapped on roads in the centre of the country after heavy snowfall forced them to spend Saturday night in their cars. Hundreds of vehicles were caught in the snow on the AP-6 motorway in Castile and León and north-western parts of the Madrid region as people returned from Epiphany celebrations. Around 70 km (44 miles) of motorway between Madrid and nearby Segovia were affected, with some motorists trapped for up to 18 hours.

More than 150 members of the army’s military emergencies unit (UME) were deployed early on Sunday to help Guardia Civil officers reach stranded motorists. “There are a lot of vehicles trapped on the AP-6 but we’re working bit by bit and kilometre by kilometre to get to all of them as soon as possible,” the UME tweeted. By mid-morning, conditions had improved, making it easier for snowploughs and emergency workers to reach stranded drivers. Members of the Red Cross handed out hot drinks, blankets and high-energy food. The UME said that everyone had been rescued by lunchtime on Sunday and the road was due to be reopened by late afternoon.(theguardian)…[+]