5 Dead, 43 Wounded in Massive Tunnel Pileup

  • By Kim Sung-hyun

    February 18, 2020 10:12

    Five people died and 43 were wounded in a 30-car pileup in a tunnel on a highway between Suncheon and Wanju in southwestern Korea on Monday.

    One of the vehicles involved was a tanker filled with toxic nitric acid, which leaked onto the highway, causing a hazard for rescue workers.

    Police said icy roads caused by heavy snowfall caused the tanker to topple over. Around 5.6 cm of snow fell in the area on Monday. The 24-ton truck carrying 18,000 liters of nitric acid approached the tunnel, but skidded and toppled near the entrance. Cars behind slammed into it and 18 caught fire.

    Smashed vehicles are piled up in a tunnel on a highway in southwestern Korea on Monday. /Newsis

    There were concerns that the nitric acid seeping out of the tanker could lead to more casualties. A total of 125 firefighters and 43 fire engines were mobilized to douse the flames while the injured were rushed to hospital.

    Rescue workers continued their search on Tuesday to figure out the exact cause of the accidents.

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