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Sudden snow unleashes deadly chaos on freeway

By  An Baijie  (China Daily)

13:15, December 09, 2011

BEIJING - More than 50 cars were involved in a series of accidents caused by a sudden heavy snowfall on a freeway in East China's Shandong province on Thursday, leaving two people dead, local authorities said.

Eleven people were injured in the accidents, at least three of them seriously. All of the seriously injured people in the accidents were taken to the local hospital for treatment, said Pan Yuan, a publicity officer of the Weifang fire department, which took part in the rescue. Six of the injured chose not to go to the hospital.

"It's the most serious freeway accident I've ever seen," Pan told China Daily on Thursday afternoon.

Dozens of vehicles were involved in the accidents, which occurred on a 112-kilometer stretch of the freeway near Weifang. A truck hit a bus on the Weifang section of the Jinan-Qingdao Expressway.

The snow began falling at 11 am, making the road slippery, Jinan-based Dazhong Daily reported on its website.

The Shandong provincial department of public security told the media that two people had been killed, but no details were released. Police officers and officials from local health departments also joined the rescue.

Several cars slid off the road into ditches along the freeway and got trapped in the snow, photos on the Dazhong Daily website show.

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