Three Ukrainian babies, including a pair of twins, were born during a massive traffic jam caused by a blizzard in the west of the country.
The twins were born on Monday in an ambulance that was stuck in the traffic jam near the city of Lyiv, emergency services said, according to AFP. The mother and babies were eventually taken to a small nearby hospital in the area before they were moved to Lyiv.
On Sunday, another woman gave birth in her snow-trapped car nearly two miles from the town of Kissorytchi, it was reported. The mother and the newborn were transported to a nearby hospital.
According to Reuters, at least 18 people died in the blizzard and this month’s cold spell. Twelve people were found dead in the streets after temperatures plunged.
A traffic jam stretched for more than 11 miles in western Ukraine, trapping people inside their cars, where many were also forced to sleep, reported AFP. More than 100 people were sent to the hospital for hypothermia and frostbite.
Many were forced to deplete their fuel reserves while staying in their cars overnight.
In some parts of Ukraine, the temperature plunged below minus 15 degrees Celsius, or 5 degrees Fahrenheit.
Rescuers dug out around 1,800 vehicles on Sunday in several regions after around 18,000 people, including military personnel, were mobilized to dig out roads around Ukraine, according to AFP.
On Monday, traffic on the road from Kyiv to Lyiv was finally cleared, local officials assured the public.
Night temperatures are expected this week to drop below -28 degrees Celsius (-18 degrees Fahrenheit) in northern, central, and eastern Ukraine, according to Reuters.
To deal with the even worse weather, the Ukrainian Emergencies Ministry said it will open up 210 heating tents around the country, according to the Kyiv Post. Ten heating tents were opened up in Kyiv, the capital, and more than 1,000 people have visited them in the past day.
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