100-Car Pile-Up in Belgium

Fog blamed for MCI crash in Zonnebeke

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

BRUSSELS (AP) — About 100 cars and trucks were involved in three pile-ups at a highway in western Belgium in a dense morning fog Tuesday, leaving at least one dead and 54 injured.

Medical workers were working to free injured passengers from the twisted metal of their vehicles hours after the crash, and the fog is making the emergency rescue by helicopter impossible.

The provincial governor, Carl Decaluwe, said one person had died, and that among the 54 injured, five were in life-threatening condition, 11 suffered serious injured while 38 walked away with minor injuries.

But Dirk Cardoen, mayor of Zonnebeke, where the crashes happened, said two had died.

The highway linking the regional industrial hub of Kortrijk to nearby Ieper was strewn with debris in three locations close to one another.

Initial photos from the scene show several wrecked cars, some overturned and a truck slammed against the side of the road — all shrouded in thick fog. A truck with feed had overturned in a ditch, slumping next to several cars crumpled together like paper balls.

With temperatures hovering close to freezing, thermal blankets were handed out to people who were still caught in their cars.

In 1996, a similar pile-up nearby had left 10 people dead.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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