Cars collide on icy road in South Korea; 1 dead, dozens hurt

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SEOUL, South Korea — Nearly 50 vehicles collided on an icy highway near the South Korean capital Sunday night, killing one person and injuring dozens.

At least 47 vehicles were involved in the accident on the Guri-Pocheon highway, where they skidded on the slippery road and collided in succession, said Hwang Tae-geun, an official at the fire department in Pocheon city.

Photos showed police officers and rescuers with stretchers rushing through throngs of cars on a road scattered with debris. Many of the vehicles, which included at least one commuter bus, had damaged fronts or rear-ends and some appeared to have been knocked sideways.

Kim Dong-wan, an official at the fire department of northern Gyeonggi Province, said at least three motorists sustained serious injuries and another person who had been transported to a hospital in cardiac arrest was pronounced dead.

At least 29 others were treated at hospitals for light injuries, he said. Hwang said rescue workers used buses to drive home an unspecified number of people whose injuries weren’t significant enough to require hospital treatment.

The crash occurred near a section of the highway entering Pocheon, which is about 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of Seoul.

The crash was the biggest among multiple traffic accidents that occurred in the country over the weekend because of icy road conditions and snow. Earlier on Sunday evening, seven vehicles collided near a highway tunnel near the eastern coastal city of Gangneung, leaving at least two people injured.

The Ministry of the Interior and Safety said the snowfalls over the weekend and subzero temperatures forecasted this week likely means that road conditions will continue to be hazardous in the greater capital area and central and eastern regions.

About 3.3 centimeters (1.29 inches) of snow fell in Pocheon over the weekend while some areas in the eastern Gangwon regions saw 40 to 60 centimeters (16 to 23 inches) of snow. At least nine highway sections as well as dozens of dozens of maritime transport routes and hiking trails remained closed as of Monday morning.

Find more of AP’s Asia-Pacific coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/asia-pacific

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