Around 250 soldiers were deployed in Spain on Sunday to rescue drivers who spent a night in their vehicles after heavy snow hit the north and central regions of the country, AFP reported, citing officials.
The Spanish emergency military unit UME said it engaged two companies of soldiers and 95 vehicles in the rescue operation.
#Nevada 50 efectivos del #BIEM1 se encuentran trabajando entre los KM 62 y 67 de la #AP6 en los dos sentidos mientras que 113 del #BIEM5 colaboran en el rescate de vehículos en el KM 95 dirección Madrid pic.twitter.com/SRGOfWCYzW— UME (@UMEgob) January 7, 2018
According to Spain's road safety authority DGT, about 1,000 vehicles were still blocked on the AP6 on Sunday.
People stuck on the motorway posted photos and videos from the hit area on social media complaining that authorities do not apply enough efforts to free the motorists.
This is how my family @davidshotoner and friends @Mori_Dani have spent the last 16 hours. Stuck in the #AP6 due to a forecasted snow storm. What have the Spanish authorities or @Abertis done so far? Turned up at 9am to help… pic.twitter.com/GHzoEv5mew— Belén Jiménez-Mena (@Belen_J_M) January 7, 2018
— polola (@PaulaPgr) January 7, 2018
Trapped, without aid, without explanations.
#nevada #snow #StormEleanor #TakeMeOut— Johnny Piton (@Johnny_Piton) January 7, 2018
Thousands of vehicles trapped on a highway, direction Madrid (AP6). The @UMEgob is working to rescue them, after spending the night in their vehiclespic.twitter.com/biaLzocBDx
Spain's emergency services distributed blankets and hot drinks to the trapped drivers advising them to keep their motors running to remain warm.
Around 12:00 GMT UME reported via Twitter that soldiers had managed to link the north part of the motorway with the south and gained access to all the vehicles for their subsequent rescue.