Europe

25 injured on Slovak highway in pileup in snowstorm

  • Apple blossoms are covered with near Denzlingen, southwestern Germany, Thursday, April 20, 2017. During temperatures below zero the layer of ice is to prevent the blossoms and apple trees from frost damages. (Patrick Seeger/dpa via AP)

    Apple blossoms are covered with near Denzlingen, southwestern Germany, Thursday, April 20, 2017. During temperatures below zero the layer of ice is to prevent the blossoms and apple trees from frost damages. (Patrick Seeger/dpa via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • People walk during snowfall in the downtown of Miercurea Ciuc, Transylvania, Central Romania, Thursday, April 20, 2017. (Nandor Veres/MTI via AP)

    People walk during snowfall in the downtown of Miercurea Ciuc, Transylvania, Central Romania, Thursday, April 20, 2017. (Nandor Veres/MTI via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Anti-frost candles burn in a vineyard, in the middle of the Swiss Alps, in Saxon, Canton of Valais, Switzerland, Thursday, April 20, 2017. Due to unusually low temperatures wine growers try to protect their grape shoots with anti-frost candles. (Valentin Flauraud/Keystone via AP)

    Anti-frost candles burn in a vineyard, in the middle of the Swiss Alps, in Saxon, Canton of Valais, Switzerland, Thursday, April 20, 2017. Due to unusually low temperatures wine growers try to protect their grape shoots with anti-frost candles. (Valentin Flauraud/Keystone via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Slovakia's police say 24 people were injured in a 40-car pileup during a heavy snowstorm in the northeastern part of the country.

Rescuers spokesman Boris Chmel says the crashes occurred at about 6 a.m. (0400 GMT) Thursday near the city of Poprad. The damaged cars completely blocked the major traffic route connecting the capital Bratislava with the eastern part of the country.

Authorities say they have evacuated people from the crashed cars.

Some parts of Central Europe, including Slovakia and neighboring Czech Republic ,have been hit by an unusual cold snap for this part of the year, with freezing temperatures and snow disrupting traffic. Up to 50 centimeters (20 inches) of snow has been reported in some areas since Wednesday morning.