China: Around The Nation

You’ve been punctured! Lorry causes mayhem after dumping nails, screws on Chinese road

More than 100 vehicles affected as ‘totally unaware’ driver scatters scrap metal over 40km stretch of expressway

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 July, 2017, 3:01pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 March, 2018, 6:05pm

More than 100 vehicles had to make emergency stops on an expressway in eastern China on Sunday after their tyres were punctured by thousands of nails and screws scattered across the tarmac, local media reported.

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The offending items had been unwittingly dumped over a 40km stretch of road in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province by a lorry carrying scrap metal, Qianjiang Evening News reported on Tuesday.

Traffic police described the incident as the worst of its kind ever seen in Zhejiang, adding that the only “good news” was that no one was hurt or killed.

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Several drivers were quoted as saying they were travelling at 120km/h – the maximum speed limit – when they hit the carpet of screws and nails. One said he later pulled more than 30 pieces of metal from a single tyre.

The emergency services hotline struggled to cope with the vast number of calls from stricken motorists, the report said, adding that it took more than 200 maintenance workers five hours to clear away all the debris.

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A woman travelling with her two children was quoted as saying that she heard a strange noise coming from her tyres.

“They were creaking,” she said. “It was like running over speed bumps.”

When she pulled the car over to check what was going on she saw that both her rear tyres had been punctured.

Police pulled over the lorry that caused all the commotion at 9:30pm, about an hour after receiving a call from another motorist who had seen what was happening, the report said.

Its driver said he was “totally unaware” of the mayhem he’d caused as he believed he had properly secured his load before setting off.

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Unfortunately for him, when he spoke to his insurance company about compensation for the people affected, he was told he wasn’t covered, the report said.

“When I heard the answer, I was frightened to death,” the man was quoted as saying.

“What can I do? I can’t afford to pay for it out of my own pocket.”

The report did not say if he would face any criminal charges.