Europe's whiteout death toll reaches at least TWENTY ONE as snow plow driver dies after his vehicle topples into an icy river and Austrian military helicopters are sent in to fly 66 German teenagers out of a mountain guest house
'At least 21 people have now died across Europe amid a week of heavy snow killing at least four more people on Friday including a snowplow driver whose vehicle toppled into an icy river.
Also on Friday two snowboarders died after an avalanche in Bulgaria. Red Cross workers said the snowboarders ignored warnings and went out on the slopes and triggered the avalanche in the southwestern Pirin Mountains, with their bodies discovered around midday.
Meanwhile a power company employee suffered a heart attack while repairing supply lines damaged by the snow in Albania on Friday, in addition to another 17 deaths reported earlier in the week.
Police in Lenggries, south of Munich, said the 48-year-old snowplow driver was rescued from the river after several hours but died in a hospital.
Avalanche warnings have been placed at critical levels across much of Europe following heavy snow which has triggered red weather alerts - as forecasters warn the snow is set to continue into the middle of next week.
A state of emergency has been declared across much of southern Germany with troops brought in to help people who have become trapped, while the army has also been deployed in Albania, Montenegro and Serbia.
Austrian military helicopters on Friday flew 66 German teenagers out of a mountain guest house where they had been stuck for several days.
About 2,000 soldiers and other emergency workers in Albania were assigned to help people trapped by snow and to clear roads to restore access to cutoff villages.
Several towns and cities in southwest Serbia introduced emergency measures, warning of snow piling up on the roads and sealing off mountain villages, Serbian state TV reported Friday. Most schools in the area closed down and 10 people had to be rescued from their homes. Strong winds complicated the work of emergency crews.
In neighboring Montenegro, meteorologist Dragan Buric said the first 10 days of January have been among the coldest the country has seen in decades.'
Read more: Europe's whiteout death toll reaches at least TWENTY ONE as snow plow driver dies after his vehicle topples into an icy river and Austrian military helicopters are sent in to fly 66 German teenagers out of a mountain guest house
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