A man and a woman are critical after half a dozen vehicles collided on a highway near Delhi early this morning, in the haze of Diwali pollution and smog.
According to reports, a speeding i20 car crashed into a truck because of poor visibility on the Eastern Peripheral Highway near Greater Noida. Within seconds, six cars crashed into each other, leaving six people, including two children, injured.
The injured have been moved to a private hospital in Faridabad. The couple in the i10 car that rammed the truck, Chandan Kumar and his wife, are believed to be in a serious condition. Their two children suffered relatively minor injuries.
The cars were almost completely wrecked with the impact of the collisions; witnesses said it was a miracle that no one was killed. Two trucks, one Swift, an Innova and an i20 were involved in the accident, said the police.
The mangled cars had to be removed with cranes from the highway as traffic was disrupted.
The police said announcements were made to warn other drivers about low visibility on the road.
Highway traffic usually slows down during this time of the year because of thick smog.
In Delhi and its neighbourhood, air quality dropped to the “hazardous” category this morning, a day after Diwali celebrations that featured crackers despite a ban.
Delhi’s air quality index, which stood at 382 at 4 pm yesterday, entered the severe zone around 8 pm as low temperature and wind speed allowed the accumulation of pollutants. The concentration of Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5 stood at 999 per cubic metre in parts of the capital on Friday morning – against WHO’s prescribed safe limit of 25.