Snow falls in Nice as three are killed by cold in Spain

Cities around the Mediterranean woke up to a coating of snow on Thursday morning as the Beast from the East kept the continent in its icy grip. 

Emergency services battled to free more than 2,000 motorists from their cars near Montpellier, in the south of France, after heavy snow shut a major motorway overnight with flakes also blanketing the beaches in Nice.

One man told a local radio station that he had been trapped in his car for 24 hours, with emergency services promising to recue him on Wednesday night, but crews still hadn't showed up by 8am on Thursday.

Meanwhile emergency services in Spain said at least three people had died battling the icy conditions overnight as much of the north of the country remained under an amber alert for snow and wind.

In Tenerife an oil rig was cast adrift before smashing into the side of a cargo ship moored nearby as the Canary Islands were battered by winds up to 150km/h (93mph) from Storm Emma.

Snow falls on the usually balmy beaches of Nice as a Siberian cold snap nicknamed the 'Beast from the East' continued to hold Europe in its icy grip on Thursday

Snow falls on the usually balmy beaches of Nice as a Siberian cold snap nicknamed the 'Beast from the East' continued to hold Europe in its icy grip on Thursday

Snow covers the Promenade des Anglais in Nice overnight on Tuesday. Snow has been falling across the south of France as cold weather sweeps across Europe 

Snow covers the Promenade des Anglais in Nice overnight on Tuesday. Snow has been falling across the south of France as cold weather sweeps across Europe 

Video footage shows the 91m-wide rig in the port of Santa Cruz beginning to drift after high winds broke its moorings before it hit the ship just before midnight.

Maritime Rescue, the Civil Guard and the police rushed to the scene before divers were brought in to seal the ship's

read more from dailymail.....

Get the latest news delivered to your inbox

Follow us on social media networks

NEXT 'Faith healer' 'treated' woman's ovarian cancer with a black salve that made ...