Heavy snowfalls forced some of Europe`s busiest airports to close and wreaked havoc on roads and railways yesterday as a cold snap swept the continent, claiming at least 15 lives, according to Herald Sun. Eight people died of exposure in Poland, three in the Czech Republic and two in Lithuania, officials said yesterday. And in the UK, two died in accidents blamed on the weather – one in a motorcycle crash and the other after falling into a freezing lake. In some parts of Germany temperatures dropped to as low as minus18 degrees C, while heavy rain in Italy triggered the collapse of two Roman walls in Pompeii and flooding in Venice. Albania proclaimed a state of natural disaster in the north with more than 200 people evacuated from one region as hundreds of homes were flooded. Transport chaos hit the whole of the continent, and Britain was one of the worst affected. London’s Gatwick Airport – one of Europe`s busiest passenger hubs – said it would remain shut until at least 10 am local time yesterday as staff worked to clear the runways. Edinburgh Airport was also shut, with delays reported at Glasgow and Aberdeen, as well as Newcastle in northeast England and Jersey in the Channel Islands. About a third of all UK rail services also either suffered delays or cancellations. France, Germany and Switzerland also shut down several airports or terminals.