Death toll rises as cold snap bites

News Shopper: Traffic on a snowy M42 motorway in Derbyshire Traffic on a snowy M42 motorway in Derbyshire

The cold spell continues to bite as icy conditions caused more travel chaos after the death toll rose to two - including a woman who died having collapsed in the snow.

Bernadette Lee was discovered in the front garden of the house next to her sister's by a man walking his dog on Sunday at 7.30am in Church Meadows, Deal, Kent.

It is thought the 25-year-old might have been on her way home in sub-zero temperatures following a night out. Kent Police are investigating the cause of death but there are reports she had no visible injuries and was found without a coat.

The weather is thought to have claimed a second victim when a man was killed as the car he was driving left the road and crashed into a tree on the A12 in Essex on Sunday night. Elsewhere, a teenager remains critically ill in hospital after being injured while sledging in Middlesbrough.

With much of the country already covered in snow, the big freeze is set to last for a further few days as rain is expected to lead to further icy conditions and temperatures are set to drop to minus 10C.

More than 200 flights were cancelled at Heathrow Airport, while other airports including Gatwick and Birmingham also experienced disruption.

The wintry conditions saw Robin Hood Airport near Doncaster closed, along with the runway at East Midlands Airport. Leeds Bradford Airport was also closed for a short period while snow was cleared.

Heathrow had previously warned that 10% of its flights were expected to be cancelled, with the situation predicted to get worse this evening as visibility reduces. Passengers were advised to check the status of their flights before travelling.

Eurostar, Virgin Trains, First Capital Connect, Southeastern, Southern and South West Trains were all facing disruption with many cancelled services, while heavy snow closed two major roads across the Pennines, the A628 Woodhead Pass and the A66 between Brough and Bowes, with the latter remaining closed this evening.

The cold weather led to thousands of children having an extra day off as hundreds of schools remained closed. In some cases, parents were asked to bring shovels to help clear paths to enable them to open.

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