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One Killed, Many Stranded in Heavy Snow in Eastern Europe


People walk on a snowy road, past stranded intervention vehicles, on the outskirts of Bucharest, Romania, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012.

People walk on a snowy road, past stranded intervention vehicles, on the outskirts of Bucharest, Romania, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012.

Parts of eastern and central Europe were hit hard by blizzards and frigid temperatures for a second day Thursday, which killed at least one person, and left many trapped in vehicles.

Romania, Bulgaria and Kosovo were especially hard hit, with some areas being covered with about two meters of snow.

Romania deployed army troops and tanks to help rescue stranded passengers and to clear the roads. Prime Minister Emil Boc said his priority would be to help people trapped in a bus on the border with Bulgaria. One man was found dead in his car near the capital, Bucharest, and a woman was hospitalized with a severe case of frostbite. A train with 123 passengers has derailed in southern Romania, but no one was injured.

Bulgaria has issued Code Red, the highest weather alert, for the entire country, including a ban on movement of heavy vehicles. Several major ports on the Black Sea were closed.

Some areas in the Balkans lost power Thursday and many schools and businesses were closed. The heavy snow also disrupted air traffic throughout eastern Europe.

Weather officials said the snow would ease by late Thursday, but that temperatures will fall below freezing.

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