Snow brings chaos to region

EAST Anglia's worst snow for years still had the region in an icy grip today.In a night of terror for many, children were trapped on a school bus for hours, a plane overshot a runway at Norwich Airport, and hundreds of motorists were stranded overnight on the M11.

EAST Anglia's worst snow for years still had the region in an icy grip today.

In a night of terror for many, children were trapped on a school bus for hours, a plane overshot a runway at Norwich Airport, and hundreds of motorists were stranded overnight on the M11.

Transport around Suffolk almost came to a halt today, and dozens of schools were closed.

But while there was major disruption in the county, elsewhere in the region there was an even more grim picture.

In Cambridgeshire a coachload of British and French children were trapped in their vehicle all night on the A1017 between Cambridge and Haverhill.

Today authorities were anxious to get them moving again because their vehicle was in danger of of running out of fuel.

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Hundreds of motorists were trapped in their vehicles all night at the Stansted airport junction on the M11 in Essex.

They were trapped in blizzards, and the vehicles were eventually freed early today.

A plane overshot the runway in ice and fog at Norwich Airport – sparking questions over why the airport was reopened in blizzard-like conditions.

The drama unfolded as the T3729 flight from Aberdeen started its descent in Norwich at 8.25pm last night .

The 30-seater Embraer regional jet overshot the runway but none of the 19 passengers or three crew members were hurt.

Alison Chambers, spokeswoman for Eastern Airways, which operates the plane, said the incident was caused by the bad weather.

Scores of emergency services were called out to the airport when the crash alert was sounded but were not needed.

A 12-vehicle accident on the A12 near Witham caused havoc for people trying to drive to London.

And there were major problems for rail travellers heading to or from London as trains were running slow.

Today's snow is the worst to hit the county for seven years – but forecasters don't think it is likely to last.

Evening Star Weatherman Ken Blowers said: "This is the worst spell of snow we have had since early February 1996, and the North of Suffolk fared worse with 4 inches recorded in the Southwold area."

There are a few more snow showers were expected today coming in from the North Sea to add to the had 1.5 inches of snow that fell in the Ipswich area overnight.

The government's met office expects today's temperature in Ipswich to remain close to freezing – with a similar story tomorrow.

From Sunday, however, there is expected to be a gentle thaw with further showers falling as rain rather than snow.

At one stage today advised people to stay at home unless their journey was vital.

The icy blast had been predicted – but in south east Suffolk the worst conditions arrived overnight, a few hours later than many people had expected.

The snow which fell yesterday evening froze during the early hours of the morning, making roads even more treacherous.

Almost all high schools in the county were closed because staff had problems reaching them.

Many primary schools were also shut – pupils and parents were asked to listen to local radio bulletins to find out if their school was open.

Gritters were battling to keep major roads open, but most minor roads were untreated and motorists who had to make journeys were asked to take extra care.

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