Thousands rescued in Spain after being trapped in cars by snowstorm
NSNEWS ONLINE DESK: A snowstorm in Spain trapped thousands of people in their cars overnight on a highway, prompting a military response Sunday, authorities said.
The Spanish army deployed hundreds of soldiers to help rescue over 3,500 motorists stranded in their cars overnight on a highway in Castille, Leon and parts of Madrid, The Guardian reported.
“There are a lot of vehicles trapped on the AP-6 but we’re working bit by bit and kilometer by kilometer to get all of them as soon as possible, we are on it!” UME, the army’s emergency unit tweeted.
Up to 44 miles of the motorway between Madrid and nearby Segovia were blocked by snow due to an intense storm, Reuters reported.
By mid-morning Sunday, weather conditions had somewhat improved, making it easier for emergency workers to reach stranded drivers.
Soldiers, firefighters and Red Cross workers distributed hot drinks and blankets.
Some of the motorists said they hadn’t eaten since lunch on Saturday.
“Some cars have run out of gas. We are starting to get worried,” said Sara Ramos, who was stranded overnight with her husband, 6-year-old and 2-year-old, The Local reported.
“The children had the little food we brought with us, but since then they haven’t eaten anything else,” she said.
Some of the drivers complained that they weren’t given any information as they remained stuck in feet of snow.
One motorist, Carlos Trevino, spent 13 hours stuck in his car with his wife after trying to drive home to Madrid.
“There are thousands of us here with no information,” he told local paper El Pais by phone.
“There’s been nothing, absolutely nothing. They’re not telling us what they’re doing on the radio or on the Internet – or what’s going to happen to us. We haven’t seen a snow plough for hours.”
Authorities warned people to stay up to date on the latest forecasts and to only drive in treacherous weather if absolutely necessary.
“Let’s be very careful,” said Spain’s directorate general of traffic.