Greek army helps remove vehicles on snow-plagued tollway


A man shovels to free from snow his car, in northern Athens following Tuesday's heavy snowfall, on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)


ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Army and municipal crews removed hundreds of vehicles Wednesday that had been stranded in snow for three days along a tollway linking Athens to the capital’s international airport, as authorities struggled to clear blocked roads and restore power to blacked out parts of the city.


Heavy snowfall has caused major disruptions in Greece and neighboring Turkey, halting flights, blocking highways, and causing power outages.


Snow blanketed Athens and much of the country on Monday, leaving thousands of drivers trapped on major roads in the Greek capital for hours, with many forced to spend the night in their cars in freezing temperatures.


Many city streets were still impassable on Wednesday, while the snowstorm also knocked out power to several Athens neighborhoods.


Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis offered a “personal and sincere apology” to the stranded drivers in remarks made during a cabinet meeting, but he blamed the tollway’s private operators for mishandling the reaction to the storm.


A snow plow drives past abandoned vehicles trapped in snow on the Attiki Odos motorway, following Tuesday's heavy snowfall in Athens, on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)