Ukraine winter death toll climbs

Last updated 13:17 20/12/2012

Plunging temperatures in Ukraine leave 61 dead and as many seek relief from frostbite at a hospital. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

Ukraine cold
CHILLING: Soldiers dig snow off the road in Ukraine where 61 people have died from the cold this month.

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A cold snap in Ukraine has claimed another 24 lives to reach a death toll of 61 people this month after temperatures dropped to -23 degrees Celsius, a senior Health Ministry official said.

Forty-three people died in the streets, nine were found dead at home and nine died in hospitals, Georgy Kozynets said.

Around half a metre of snow has fallen, and night temperatures could to drop to -28C in northern, central and eastern Ukraine this week, weather forecasters said.

Last February, as Ukraine went through its coldest winter in six years, more than 130 people died of cold in the country of 45 million.

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- Reuters

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