Five people died in two multiple car accidents on Monday on the A25 road near Sever do Vouga in the north of Portugal.
The first accident occurred around 4pm and involved 30 vehicles, leading to the death of three people, 11 people with serious injuries and 46 with minor injuries.
A few minutes later, 600 metres ahead, a second accident occurred on the other carriageway from Viseu to Aveiro involving 19 vehicles.
Two people died, one a 21 year-old woman who was hit when she was abandoning her vehicle and a child of eight. Thirteen more people were seriously injured in this accident.
Of the total of 49 vehicles involved in the two accidents, at least 12 vehicles were burned out, including two heavy goods vehicles.
According to Major Couto of the Aveiro GNR Police: “The first fire fighters arrived on the scene 15 minutes after the initial accident and 20 minutes later there were about 200 emergency workers, including fire fighters, GNR police and INEM.
According to INEM emergency services, the scene of the accident was described as “terrifying”.
Those who were seriously injured were taken to several hospitals in the region, including in Santa Maria da Feira, Águeda, Coimbra and Aveiro.
One victim who sustained severe burns was taken to the Hospital de Santa Maria in Lisbon.
Three of the five victims have already been identified in the Hospital de Aveiro.
The circumstances of the accident are still being investigated.
According to the District Command of Relief Operations (CDOS) from Aveiro, the accident was linked to “the first rains and the deep fog that occurred in the region throughout the day”.