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At least 17 dead in 56-car pile-up in China on icy road

Fog and a slippery road helped cause the pileup on a highway in north China Monday morning.

By Stephen Feller
At least 17 dead in 56-car pile-up in China on icy road
The scene a of 56-car pileup on a Chinese expressway about 12 hours after the crash shows some of the road has been cleared. Officials report 17 people died in the massive crash, which is being blamed on a wintry mix of rain, snow and fog, and 37 were injured but are all in stable condition. Photo by Zhan Yan/Xinhua

SHANXI, China, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Fog and a slippery road helped cause a pileup with dozens of cars on a highway in north China on Monday.

Police said the 56-car pileup had occurred around 9 a.m. Monday on the Beijing-Kunming expressway in the Shanxi Province because of snow, rainy weather and slippery conditions. Authorities said 17 people died and 37 were injured, all of whom are now in stable condition.

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Some cars and trucks were completely crashed in the melee, which happened during an ugly winter morning. One truck was thrown through the air, landing on the cars in front of it, and others dangled off the side of a nearby cliff.

Cranes were brought to the scene to move the heavier vehicles, and firefighters said they had to put out a fire at the front of the pileup before starting rescue operations.

"While some of us manned the hoses, a chief officer led the rescue efforts of trapped personnel," said firefighter Wang Ruobing.

Officials said they are conducting an investigation to understand the causes of the crash.

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