BUDAPEST Hungary and Bulgaria have banned shipping on the Danube as the river is freezing over and floating ice poses a risk.
Gabriella Siklos, spokeswoman for the Hungarian General Directorate of Water Management, told Reuters on Tuesday that the ban was effective from 1500 GMT.
Bulgarian river supervision authorities have also banned shipping on the Danube on the Bulgarian stretch of the river.
The agency said shallow waters, coupled with the freezing of the river, poses risks to ships.
The Danube is one of Europe's main river arteries, shipping everything from grain to oil to passengers.
Severe frosts and snow storms killed dozens of people in central Europe over the weekend, mainly in Poland, as temperatures in the region dropped below -30 degrees Celsius in some places.
(Reporting by Krisztina Than and Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)