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Europe in the grip of the big freeze

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Europe in the grip of the big freeze

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The recent cold snap is continuing to cause chaos across Europe.

While it is good news for tens of thousands of British schoolchildren who will relish the time out of class, road, rail and air travellers are cursing the heaviest snowfall and lowest temperatures for 20 years.

In the UK, up to 40 centimetres of snow fell in northern regions and thermometers plummeted to minus 15 degrees Celsius.

Workers at airports including Gatwick and Heathrow did what they could to maintain flights but delays and cancellations were widespread.

France witnessed the same conditions, especially in its northern regions.

In Germany, temperatures as low as minus 19 degrees Celsius brought out river ice-breakers.

Meanwhile, some European residents are more used to the conditions, such as those in Wroclaw Zoo in western Poland, where Siberian tigers, reindeer and wolves were more excited than normal, according to their keepers.