Freak conditions cause chaos on the roads

Bizarre weather conditions have been causing chaos on Latvian roads in the last 24 hours with heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures followed by warm weather making the transport network deadly.

Police and rescue teams have been at full stretch and even their own vehicles have not been immune, as evidenced by a dramatic picture posted by the State Police on its Twitter feed.

In the incident near Kegums, a fire truck collided with a car. Two people were killed and three injured, including two firefighters.

"This morning, the situation on the iced-over roads is catastrophic - by 10 a.m. Latvian police received calls to 57 accidents. Several major highways are blocked or partially blocked," the police said.

"We urge people to drive with caution and care and to modify their driving style according to the conditions."

So far this year, the death toll on Latvia's roads has been appalling - 13 deaths in 13 days.

However, at least the State Language Center (VVC) was able to turn the situation to its advantage by taking the opportunity to explain the meaning of the Latvian word "apledojums" (ice cover) on its website - useful for the numerous people filling in insurance claims in the next few days.

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