15 killed, scores injured in Hunan highway pile-up

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 February, 2013, 6:17pm
UPDATED : Friday, 08 February, 2013, 9:56pm

A massive pile-up involving more than a dozen vehicles on a busy central China highway has killed at least 15 people and injured more than 60, Chinese media reported on Friday.

The accident, which happened before sunrise on an icy stretch of the Changde-Zhangjiajie Highway in Hunan province, completely blocked the two-lane highway for the whole morning. Fifteen vehicles, including at least three coaches, crashed into one another as the road froze over.

Photos posted by witnesses on China’s popular Weibo social media platform showed wrecked buses and cars, debris strewn over snow-covered roads and firefighters with heavy equipment trying to remove the vehicles from the road. The China News Service said at one point more than 80 passengers were trapped in the wreckage before firefighters arrived to pull them out.

Of the total 65 injured passengers, 31 remained hospitalised, said the news service.

Hundreds of millions of Chinese are heading home for family reunions on trains, long-distance coaches and planes on the last day before the lunar calendar New Year’s Eve, in one of the world’s largest mass migrations of people.

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