( dpa ) - One hundred and sixteen cars crashed amid heavy snowstorms Thursday in a series of pile-ups on the Czech Republic's main highway, officials said.
Helicopters and ambulances took six people with serious and 24 with slight injuries to hospitals in nearby cities, Vysocina county spokeswoman Jitka Svatosova said.
The country's main road connecting the capital Prague and the second-largest city of Brno was shut down for kilometres about halfway along its length in the accident-prone Vysocina highlands and could open as late as Friday morning, Svatosova said.
Firefighters estimate that some 20,000 people have been stuck in the jams, CTK news agency reported.
Authorities dispatched vehicles carrying tea and blankets to the blocked parts of the road, the county spokeswoman said.
Meteorologists expect more heavy snow and galeforce winds to hit the Czech Republic in coming hours and days.