NEWS

Greece caught in big freeze

A cold snap that gripped the country for a second day yesterday caused treacherous driving conditions, disrupted air transport, led to dozens of mountain villages being cut off and claimed the lives of an elderly couple in central Greece. The prefecture of Fthiotida was one of the areas worst hit by snowfall, which was up to one meter deep in some places. Giorgos Retsos, 90, and his 91-year-old wife Anastassia were found dead in their home in one of the prefecture’s mountain villages, Pougakia. Three people were admitted to Corinth Hospital in comas after inhaling fumes from a fuel-powered generator. An elderly couple had fired up the generator in their home after their village, Lafka, was cut off due to heavy snow but lost consciousness after breathing in its fumes. Their neighbor suffered the same fate when she came to check on them. Meanwhile, Alexandroupolis airport in northeastern Greece was shut down completely due to heavy snow and high winds. Olympic Airlines flights from Athens to Lemnos, Hania, Kasos, Leros, Samos, Lesvos and Icaria were also canceled. Driving conditions were particularly difficult in northern Greece and snow chains were needed to get around in the prefectures of Kozani, Grevena, Kastoria and Florina.