[PHOTOS] There's Been A Horrific Accident Involving 56 Vehicles On An Icy Expressway
Photos from the scene of the crash site show burnt-out wrecks of cars and overturned trucks scattered across the expressway linking Beijing with Kunming.
In a crash that happened on Monday morning involving 56 vehicles on an icy expressway in North China's province of Shanxi, 17 people were killed with 37 left injured, according to Chinese state media
It was reported that the vehicles collided during snowy and rainy weather on the Beijing-Kunming expressway. Pictures of the scene showed lorries scattered haphazardly across the road, some of them overturned, and burnt-out wrecks of cars after the crash.
The BBC reported that that impact was so massive that one truck was thrown through the air, landing on the vehicles in front of it
One driver who was involved in the incident told state-run CCTV:
"The fog was heavy, so I drove slowly when I exit the tunnel. I saw two vehicles horizontally blocking the road, so I stepped on the brake."
And firefighters had to fight a blaze at the front of the pileup
While speaking to CCTV, one firefighter, Wang Ruobing, said, "While some of us manned the hoses, a chief officer led the rescue efforts of trapped personnel."
A day after the collision the expressway was still closed to traffic
Traffic accidents are common on Chinese highways
In March this year, a 47-car pileup in the same Shanxi province, killed 3 and injured 7.
Prior to that on 8 December 2015, another crash created a vast domino effect of destruction which impacted on 33 vehicles in total, killing at least 6 people.
In both cases, bad weather - heavy fog and snow, were the cause of the tragic crash.
In fact, road accidents are so common in China that a 2015 WHO report estimates that over 200,000 road deaths occur in China each year. That number is at least four times more than what the Chinese government has estimated in recent years.