LAHORE: As many as 20 people, including women and children, were injured on Tuesday morning in a chain collision involving several vehicles on the motorway near Sheikhupura interchange due to poor visibility caused by fog.

The video clips [that went viral] showed several damaged vehicles and people standing helplessly around them amid a thick blanket of fog.

In two other accidents occurred in Bahawalpur on Tuesday, two people were killed and as many suffered injuries. The reason was said to be foggy weather, according to Rescue 1122 personnel Abdul Rahim.

An official of the National Highways and Motorways Police (NH&MP) said nearly 30 vehicles, mostly cars, were involved in the pile-up near Sheikhupura when they were coming from Islamabad to Lahore early on Tuesday.

He said some vehicles got damaged almost completely in the chain-reaction crash after they overturned while applying emergency brakes and struck into the divider on the motorway.

The witnesses said many speeding cars hit the other vehicles multiple times, as the drivers could not find sufficient time to stop or slow down.

The multiple pile-up threw traffic out of gear, besides creating an emergency situation in the area.

The NH&MP officials declared the poor weather condition caused by smog as one of the major reasons for the accident.

However, the motorists criticised the NH&MP for not generating alerts despite knowing about the smog and fog on the motorway.

Several ambulances of the Rescue 1122 rushed to the site and shifted them to nearby hospitals.

A few of them were referred to Lahore’s teaching hospitals due to multiple injuries, the motorway police said adding that none of them was said to be critical.

Earlier, on [last] Sunday morning, a person had died while 15 others, including four members of a family, got injured when five vehicles collided with each other near a resting area on motorway at Hafizabad due to smog.

The multiple-vehicle collisions continued to occur on motorway due to abnormal climatic conditions while no important step was taken by the NH&MP and other authorities to prevent such incidents.

In May this year, several people were injured after a chain collision involving more than three dozen vehicles on the Lahore-Islamabad Motorway near Kala Shah Kaku due to poor visibility caused by torching of stubble.

At that time, much was trumpeted to sensitise the motorway police and district authorities of Sheikhpura but with no tangible outcome of the efforts to prevent such future chain accidents.

Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2021

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