In West Germany, fifteen people were killed and many injured on Wednesday (21 February) in two accidents on fog-boun autobahns.
GVs: collapsed overpass on autobahn near Duisberg, West Germany. (4 shots)
SVs: crushed vehicles (2 shots)
rescue crews sifting through wreckage. (4 shots)
GV: night scene of rescue workers amongst smouldering wreckage (5 shots)
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Background: In West Germany, fifteen people were killed and many injured on Wednesday (21 February) in two accidents on fog-boun autobahns. They happened near Duisberg, and on the Cologne-Koblenz road outside Bonn.
SYNOPSIS: The Duisberg accident happened when a heavy truck crashed into the support pillar of a bridge crossing the autobahn. The pillar gave way, and tonnes of falling masonry caught several vehicles below the bridge. Visibility at the time was reported to be less than thirty yards (twenty-seven metres), and a number of vehicles, unaware of the accident, ploughed into the wreckage.
Teams of rescue workers were soon on the scene, sifting through the rubble and twisted metal and extracting the dead bodies. Eight people??? died in the crash, and three were badly injured. Road conditions in West Germany have only just improved after heavy snowfalls in the most savage winter on the European continent in almost two decades. But thick fog and freezing weather contributed to the massive pile-up on the Cologne-to-Koblenz autobahn.
More than thirty cars and trucks were involved, some of them bursting into flames on impact and continuing to smoulder for hours after the fires were put out. Police said that drivers were travelling too fast for the conditions. Seven people died in the crash, and firemen and police took hours to rescue many of the injured.