5 HGVs and 37 other vehicles piled up in Hungarian motorway accident, police start criminal investigation
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Possibly due to a sudden dust storm, 5 HGVs, 5 vans and 32 passenger cars collided in a pileup on the M1 motorway in Hungary on Saturday early afternoon. Police have initiated a criminal investigation to find out the cause and the circumstances of the accident.
The accident happened 25 kilometers west of Budapest on the Austria-bound M1 motorway at around 14:54 on Saturday afternoon.
Out of the five trucks and 37 other vehicles involved in the accident, 19 vehicles burned out and a total of 36 people were injured, including one that was life-threatening and 13 that were serious, police said.
During the technical rescue, a body of a 44-year-old man was found under one of the burnt-out car wrecks.
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Four rescue helicopters, as well as fire and rescue teams from numerous nearby cities, all arrived at the scene to treat the injured, according to Hungary’s National Directorate for Disaster Protection.
National motorway information provider Útinform said that by 5 am, the authorities had completed the technical rescue and the scene investigation, allowing the motorway to open in both directions.
Previous accident could have been red flag for motorway operator
Police have initiated a criminal investigation to find out the circumstances of the horrific accident.
According to the police, another accident had already happened in the area around noon, when a lorry and a passenger car collided. As to Hungarian press information, at the time of this former accident, visibility was already poor due to strong wind and dust. An ambulance, an emergency helicopter and a fire engine reportedly arrived at the scene of this previous crash.
National ambulance service spokesperson Pal Gyorfi declined to give a potential cause of the accident, according to Hungarian TV station M1.
However, the operator of Hungary’s highways, the Hungarian Concession Infrastructure Development Plc., posted on Facebook that a localized dust storm, which had caused a sudden reduction in visibility, may have been the cause.
Concession spokesperson László Szimicsku added that work had been carried out on the surrounding agricultural land a couple of days before the accident when the soil was loosened, and the strong wind on Saturday picked up the dust and blew it onto the highway.
“According to our information, some cars ran into the local wind blowing. Someone hit the brakes and there was actually a mass crash,” Szimicsku told the Hungarian press.