Cars stand bumper to bumper on the roads near Aachen (picture-alliance/dpa/R. Roeger)

Commuters in western Germany were hit by traffic chaos Thursday as heavy snow caused delays and problems throughout the region.

Planes were unable to land or take off at Cologne-Bonn airport for around two hours in the early morning.

The main runway did eventually reopened, but several commercial flights were delayed as a result and nine flights were canceled.

Local public broadcaster WDR reported over 400 kilometers of bumper to bumper traffic in Germany’s most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia.

Huge jams were reported after a pile-up on the key A4 highway around Cologne.

“They were driving slowly, but not slowly enough,” a police spokesperson said.

Snowfall causes traffic to build up in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Police in the southwestern state of Rhineland-Palatinate reported at least 22 weather-related accidents, 11 of which were in Kaiserslautern alone.

Up to five centimeters of snow was forecast for Thursday. The weather was then expected to clear as the day went on only to return to snow on Friday night.

In the south, snow could change to freezing rain, making road conditions potentially more icy and dangerous.

nn/rt (dpa)

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