Nine people were injured and 137 vehicles damaged after 52 pile-ups occurred on the same stretch of road in less than two hours, Western China City Daily reported.
Sudden heavy fog was blamed as the cause of the series of crashes on a highway in Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan province on Dec 13.
Damaged vehicles wait to be towed off the highway after 52 car pile-ups happened in less tan two hours, in Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan province, Dec 13, 2010. [Photo/Western China City Daily]
"I have been working as traffic police for 8 years, but I've never seen so many accidents happen at the same place before," said local policeman Han Tao.
Traffic of the Wenjiachang to Shuangliu section of Chengdu's ring road was totally paralyzed shortly after the fog fell at around 8:40 am and caused a series of accidents in a visibility of less than five meters.
The road, covered with vehicle parts and glass, was sealed from 11:00 to 11:30 am.
"My car seemed to be thrown into the milk, I couldn't figure out which direction I was going," said a man surnamed Zhou, whose car was hit at the tail in the fog.
"I couldn't see anything and didn't have a second to press the brake," said a taxi driver with the surname Zhao, who suffered a head injury in a crash.
While some blamed the fog for their misfortune, others questioned whether those who manage the highway should be held partly responsible for the accidents.
"The highway was not closed even in such a heavy fog, is this someone's neglect of duty?" said a woman surnamed Huang, whose car was totally damaged in a collision.
Another unnamed driver echoed Huang's remarks and said no fog alert was found anywhere before the accidents happened.
A woman surnamed Du from the company that manages the highway said the heavy fog fell all of a sudden and was hard to predict.
But they quickly initiated an emergency response after they were made aware of the situation and sealed the road, Du said.