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One killed, dozens injured in traffic accidents amid heavy snow

Cars are covered in snow in Chuncheon, 85 kilometers east of Seoul, on Tuesday. (Yonhap)
Cars are covered in snow in Chuncheon, 85 kilometers east of Seoul, on Tuesday. (Yonhap)
One person was killed and dozens were injured in traffic accidents caused by heavy snowfall in the country's northeast, officials said Tuesday.

Gangwon Province received up to 90 centimeters of snow in the mountains and 5-20 cm inland between Monday and Tuesday afternoon, according to local weather authorities.

The snow caused severe traffic congestion and road closures across the province, leading to 79 traffic accidents and multiple casualties, according to firefighting officials.

A man in his 50s was killed after he was hit by a car near a tunnel on a highway linking Seoul to Yangyang, 215 kilometers east of the capital.

The man had left his car to deal with his own single-car accident on a snowy road when the other vehicle hit him from behind, according to the officials.

Sixty-six people were taken to hospitals, and 45 people were rescued from their cars after being trapped in the snow, they said.

Hundreds of cars were trapped on Donghae Expressway on Monday due to a complete road closure but travel resumed around 2 a.m. Tuesday after 10 hours.

Some sections of roads continued to be blocked for a second day on Tuesday, while others began to reopen starting at noon.

Some residents left their cars at home and walked to work in the morning. Many others could be seen shoveling snow outside their homes and businesses.

In parts of the mountainous and remote areas, people were tied down after several buses stopped running due to the snow.

Train, ferry and flight schedules have all been affected by cancellations.

COVID-19 screening centers reopened at 1 p.m. after shutting down temporarily.

Authorities mobilized 1,096 workers and 955 pieces of equipment to remove snow across the province.

Earlier, dozens of military personnel were sent to help cars out of the snow.

The local government of Yangyang sent blankets and food for 1,530 people, while Korea Expressway Corp. provided 320 liters of fuel for stranded drivers. (Yonhap)