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Death toll rises to 17 as snowstorms batter Europe

Deep trouble: A plough train is stranded
on tracks in Germany and (below) a mum
pushes a baby buggy in Macedonia PICTURES: AP/EPA

AT LEAST 17 people have died after snowstorms hit much of Europe.

A boy of 16 was killed in an avalanche at the St Anton am Arlberg ski resort in Austria on Wednesday, say police. In neighbouring Slovakia, the mountain rescue service said a 37-year-old man died in an avalanche in the Malá Fatra mountains.

A seven-year-old child was killed in Aying, near Munich, by a falling tree which was weighed down by snow. Heavy snowfall forced several railway lines in the Alps to close and traffic was stranded on a motorway in south-west Germany for several hours during a storm.

Many schools in Bavaria were forced to close and 9,000 homes in the Czech Republic were left without power.

On Norway’s Arctic Svalbard islands, more than 100 people were ordered to leave their homes amid fears of avalanches.

More snow is forecast tomorrow.