Highway pileup kills five in central China

08:44, January 11, 2010      

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Damaged vehicles are seen at the site of a traffic accident on the expressway between Wuhan and Shiyan in central China's Hubei Province, Jan. 10, 2010. (Xinhua/Sun Hucheng)

At least five people were killed and seven others injured in a 11-vehicle crash in Hubei Province Saturday, a firefighting officer said Sunday.

The pileup happened at around 10 p.m. Saturday at the Zaoyang city section of a highway linking Wuhan, capital of Hubei, to Shiyan city in the province, according to a publicity officer with the firefighting detachment of Xiangfan city that administers Zaoyang.

The accident involved four trucks, three passenger buses, three sedans and a mini-van. Five people were killed on the spot and the seven injured had been rushed to a hospital.

More than ten fire engines and some 70 firefighters were called on to the site. By 6:00 a.m. Sunday when rescue operation ended, some 90 people had been evacuated from the site, mostly passengers.

Investigators assumed that the slippery road covered by ice and speeding might be the causes of the accident, according to the officer who refused to be named.

The highway section remained closed as of Sunday afternoon.

Further probe into the crash is still underway.

A doctor conducts a medical checkup for a man injured in a freeway traffic accident, at a hospital in Xiangfan, central China's Hubei province, Jan. 10, 2010. Five people were dead and seven others injured in a pileup accident involving 11 vehicles on the Hanshi Freeway in Xiangfan late Jan. 9. (Xinhua/Gong Bo)

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