Win­try storms hit con­ti­nent

Europe: Tree kills woman in front of kids – and fox found in block of ice

The Press and Journal (Highlands & Islands) - - Foreign News -

Vi­o­lent winds and win­ter storms have hit France, killing a 43- year- old woman tak­ing her chil­dren to school and in­jur­ing nearly 50 other peo­ple.

In Ger­many, a hunter put on show a block of ice con­tain­ing a fox which he says fell into the River Danube and drowned.

Else­where in Europe, the Vatican shel­tered home­less peo­ple in a church from un­usu­ally freez­ing overnight tem­per­a­tures in Rome.

The woman killed in the hills above the south­ern French city of Nice was hit on the head as a tall cy­press tree snapped in a gust as she left her house to take her chil­dren to school.

“This hap­pened in front of her chil­dren,” said po­lice chief Do­minique Bla­sius.

The chil­dren called their fa­ther, who used a chain­saw to free his wife, but she was al­ready dead when a fire crew ar­rived. In north­ern France, winds blew a tree on to tracks be­tween Paris and Brussels, strand­ing 210 pas­sen­gers on a high-speed Thalys train overnight on Thurs­day.

France’s worst-hit ar­eas in­cluded Nor­mandy and Pi­cardy where, re­spec­tively, 76,000 homes and 61,000 homes were with­out elec­tric­ity yes­ter­day.

The Vatican said 30 peo­ple – both Ital­ians and for­eign­ers – had ac­cepted an in­vi­ta­tion to sleep in­side St Cal­ix­tus Church, which is Vatican prop­erty.

Ger­man hunter Franz Stehle said the block con­tain­ing the fox was ex­tracted on Jan­uary 2 and put on dis­play out­side his fam­ily’s ho­tel in Fridin­gen. He said it showed the dan­gers of the icy river.

The town is close to the Danube’s source in south­west­ern Ger­many. Mr Stehle said it is not un­usual for an­i­mals to fall through the frozen river sur­face. He has seen a frozen deer and wild boar be­fore.

FOX NEWS: Not a Damien Hirst­mas­ter­piece, but a drowned an­i­mal fished out of the frozen River Danube in south-west­ern Ger­many

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