56-car pile-up on China motorway kills 17, injures 37

Beijing: At least 17 people were killed and 37 others injured after 56 vehicles were involved in a massive pile-up due to snow on a major expressway in north China’s Shanxi Province.

The accident took place on Beijing-Kunming expressway yesterday due to snow and rainy weather. The injured people are in a stable condition after treatment, local officials said yesterday.

Pictures of the scene showed lorries scattered haphazardly across the road, some of them overturned, and burnt-out wrecks of cars after the crash on Monday.

Local police, firefighters, doctors and officials were involved in the rescue operation, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Most of the vehicles involved in the collision, that killed 17 people and injured 37, were large trucks, the report added.

Traffic accidents are common in China, with the World Health Organization estimating that more than 2.6 lakh people were killed on the country’s roads in 2013.

The WHO figures are strikingly higher than official pronouncements, in a country where government data is often questioned — the National Bureau of Statistics reporting 58,539 traffic fatalities that year, which is less than a quarter of the WHO’s approximation.

In a bid to improve road safety, the government recently cracked down on the overloading of trucks.

Road mishap deaths in China in 2013

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