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Fog Blamed For 100-Plus Vehicle Pileup In U.K.

Recovery workers vehicles back the front of the Sheppey crossing bridge after 100 or more vehicles were involved in a major road traffic incident in Sheppey, Kent, southeast England on Thursday.
Justin Tallis
/
AFP/Getty Images
Recovery workers vehicles back the front of the Sheppey crossing bridge after 100 or more vehicles were involved in a major road traffic incident in Sheppey, Kent, southeast England on Thursday.

As many as 130 vehicles were involved in a massive pileup on a fog-covered bridge in Kent, England, that resulted in dozens of injuries along a major traffic artery.

Eight motorists suffered serious injuries in the morning rush-hour accident that closed down the A249 Sheppey Crossing, which is southeast of London.

The BBC and The Independent report there were 130 vehicles involved and a total of 200 injuries, but The Guardian and other sources put the figure at 100 vehicles and at least 60 injuries.

The BBC quotes driver Martin Stammers as saying the scene was "horrendous" and describing people lying on the ground:

"He said visibility was about 10 to 20 yards when he approached the bridge and saw five cars smashed into each other with one across the outside lane. ...

" 'For 10 minutes afterwards, all we could hear was screeching, cars thudding into each other, lorries crashing,' he added."

A spokeswoman for police in Kent was quoted in the Guardian as saying nobody was killed in the mass accident, but that there were "a large number of walking wounded casualties. Firefighters have used hydraulic cutting equipment to release five people from their vehicles."

In the annals of such pileups, 100 or 130 vehicles is a fairly large number, although it doesn't come close to the 300 vehicles involved an accident two years ago in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In 1990, a dozen people were killed in a 99-vehicle pileup on I-75 near Calhoun, Tenn.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.
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