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article image5 dead, 50 injured in vehicle pile-up on Chilean highway

By Igor I. Solar     Oct 13, 2011 in World
Santiago - A major pile-up on a Chilean highway involving at least 50 vehicles left five people dead, scores injured and several trapped in the wrecked vehicles; fog, smoke and excessive speed are being blamed as causes of the accident.
The accident occurred on Wednesday at about 7:10 AM. at kilometer 66 of Route 68, a four-lane highway linking the city of Valparaiso with the Chilean capital, Santiago. Because of dense fog aggravated by smoke covering the highway, a vehicle stopped suddenly which caused other vehicle to rear end it. Other 51 vehicles following on both lanes, including 22 trucks, 11 intercity buses and 18 passenger vehicles, also crashed in succession.
Emergency services vehicles including police cars, fire trucks, 30 ambulances, and three police helicopters arrived on the scene to help rescue those involved in the tragedy. Injured people were taken to 5 area hospitals.
Screengrab of photograph (LUN) of massive vehicle collision on Chilean highway.
Screengrab of photograph (LUN) of massive vehicle collision on Chilean highway.
The accident occupied close to a kilometer of the highway and caused a severe congestion in both directions. Police set up road closures to allow dealing with the emergency. The highway remained closed for most of the day on Wednesday.
The investigation leading to ascertain the causes of the accident, the origin of the smoke and the responsibilities involved starts today.
More about Chile, Road accident, vehicle pileup, Santiago de Chiler, Valparaiso
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