Saturday, December 20, 2008

Winter blast blamed for death, delays

Vancouver's unseasonably cold weather has claimed its first victim, a homeless woman whose tragic death was among the fallout of yesterday's countrywide wintry walloping.

The woman, known as Tracey, appears to have set herself on fire while huddling around a lone candle overnight, with Vancouver's temperatures about 15 degrees lower than they'd typically be.

Across the country, cold weather and blowing snow are being blamed for hundreds of collisions, including a 25-car pileup. Canada's busiest terminal, Toronto's Pearson Airport, was paralyzed by a dump of about 20 centimetres yesterday, with one-quarter of its flights delayed or cancelled.

"The timing really couldn't be worse," Greater Toronto Airport Authority spokesman Scott Armstrong said.

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