Beirut: A massive accident involving a 24-car pileup that resulted in 11 injuries and the blocking of a major highway on Wednesday evening has been described by Lebanon’s worst accident in decades.
A driver was apprehended for questioning after his oil truck’s tire punctured and the vehicle flipped over causing leakage that led to the gigantic pileup over one of the country’s busiest highways in Jiyye just south of the country’s capital Beirut, a source at the Lebanese Internal Security Forces [ISF] told Gulf News.
“The driver lost control over his steering and the truck flipped sideways and skidded. The skidding caused the oil tank to get several apertures that caused the oil to leak on the highway. Several speeding cars failed to apply their brakes properly and safely due to slipping. Nearly 24 to 25 cars were involved in the pileup … the accident could be described as one of the worst in the past 10 years,” an ISF spokesperson told the newspaper on Thursday.
Lebanese army personnel, traffic police and Lebanese Red Cross ambulances rushed to the site of the accident that resulted in 11 injuries that the spokesperson descried as light and moderate.
“The highway to the south was closed between 11pm and 1.30am … during that time the traffic police diverted the traffic flow to the old seaside highway beside Jiyye Power Station. The highway was reopened for traffic after the debris, wreckage and oil were removed,” concluded the spokesperson who confirmed that the driver had been taken into custody for questioning.
The Traffic Control Room recorded during the past 24 hours 21 accidents in which 3 died and 35 were injured across Lebanon.
“The Jiyye pileup is one of, if not, the worst accident in terms of the number of cars involved, in the history of Lebanon. Recently accidents have been on the rise. We have constantly warned the authorities that accidents will keep on rising noticeably due to the improper and lenient enforcement of the Traffic Law,” Dr Ziad Akl Founder of Yasa, a local organization that promotes and campaigns for traffic safety, injury prevention and law implementation, told Gulf News.
Mobile-usage, inattentive and reckless driving and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol has been the main reasons behind this perceptible increase in traffic accidents, concluded Dr Akl.