Snow-covered trains are parked at a standstill at Munich Central Station in Munich, Germany, on Saturday after heavy snowfall caused chaos across the region, including the suspension of flight operations at Munich Airport. Photo by Anna Szilagyi/EPA-EFE
Dec. 2 (UPI) -- A blizzard paralyzed travel across the southern German state of Bavaria on Saturday, closing Munich's international airport and forcing the postponement of a Bayern Munich soccer game.
Thousands of travelers were stranded, including passengers who had to spend the overnight hours on trains, while bus and tram services in Munich were suspended in the wake of up to 16 inches of snowfall overnight Friday into Saturday.
Munich Airport stopped flight operations in southern Bavaria.
"Due to the continuing heavy snowfall, there will be no air traffic probably until 6 a.m. tomorrow, Dec. 3," airport officials advised in a statement. "Please do not travel to the airport today and check the status of your flight with your airline before traveling to the airport tomorrow."
Railway lines across the region were closed. Rail operator Deutsche Bahn said regular train traffic had been suspended at Munich Central Station until Monday.
"We assume that the above-mentioned restrictions will continue throughout [Saturday] and [Sunday]. We recommend postponing travel to and from Munich," the operator said.
Munich police recommend that people not leave their homes.
Tree branches snapped by the heavy snow triggered power outages in parts of Bavaria, with utilities confirming that "many thousands" of households in the Bayernwerk network area were affected with more expected to come.
The blizzard also affected Germany's sports schedule as Bayern Munich, one of the world's most popular soccer clubs, canceled its scheduled Bundesliga game against Union Berlin.
With the snowfall forecast to continue into until Saturday evening, the team said that even if the pitch at Munich's Allianz Arena were made playable, "safety risks and the traffic situation made cancellation unavoidable.
"Snow falling from the roof at the Allianz Arena poses an incalculable risk for spectators. In addition, it is almost impossible to get to the stadium," the team added, citing the "countless" cancelations of buses and trains as well as closed roads and highways.
"Under these conditions, it cannot be guaranteed that the necessary security personnel will be able to reach the Allianz Arena," FC Bayern said, adding the match will be rescheduled as soon as a new date is agreed to by the German Football League.