GIANT CHUNKS of melting ice broke free on the Danube River today, crashing hundreds of boats into each other, sweeping away several barges and sinking one of Belgrade’s trademark floating nightclubs.
The thick ice had closed large parts of Europe’s busy 2,860-km-long waterway as the region faced a record-breaking cold snap, but it started shifting yesterday afternoon because of rising temperatures. There were no reports of injuries.
Officials around the region were trying to determine whether melting snow and ice would cause heavy flooding, adding more misery to an area that is dealing with a death toll that has risen over 600 and trapped thousands in remote, mountain villages behind massive snow banks.
Ice floes up to a half-a-metre thick began to break up in the Belgrade area of the Danube, damaging boats and crashing pontoon bridges. A barge restaurant, called Alexander, sank completely, officials said.
This video shows some of the chaos as boats are crushed and dragged along with the ice on the river:
(Video via darkox85)