56-Car Pileup InChina Leaves 17 People Dead

Recent snow, slippery conditions and fog are said to have contributed to the huge highway pileup in northeastern China.



A massive crash involving 56 vehicles on the Beijing-Kunming highway in China's Shanxi province occurred approximately around 9 a.m.

Several cities around the country have recently seen snow and rains which had already injured 37 people.

The highway has been closed to traffic and the police promises investigation.

"The fog was heavy, so I drove slowly when I exit the tunnel," a driver told state-run CCTV. "I saw two vehicles horizontally blocking the road, so I stepped on the brake."

Firefighters told CCTV that when they arrived they fought a blaze at the front of the pileup.

"While some of us manned the hoses, a chief officer led the rescue efforts of trapped personnel," firefighter Wang Ruobingsaid.

China received its first snowfall this week after the weather department issued a blue alert warning of snow or blizzards in northern part of the country.

The rain and snow were expected to last more than 40 hours, with a blizzard possible for the western and northern areas of Beijing as well as a significant temperature drop.

The people in the effected regions had been advised to stay indoors, and warned to take protective and emergency measures against snow and frost.

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