Thirteen killed in highway accidents amid China travel rush

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Accidents on icy highways in central China left at least 13 people dead and dozens injured this weekend as millions of families were heading home from the Lunar New Year holiday.

Five were killed shortly after 5 AM on Sunday in a 23-car pileup near the city of Anqing in Anhui province.

A second accident followed three hours later near the provincial capital of Hefei after a minibus collided with a passenger vehicle.

On Saturday night, two pileups involving at least 100 vehicles killed two and injured 50, 10 seriously, in Guizhou province.

Police said investigations were underway. Both Guizhou and Anhui have been hit by snow and freezing rain, leaving highways dangerously slick.

Photos of the Anhui accident that left five dead posted by online news website The Paper, showed smashed vehicles squeezed up against each other, along a mountainous section of the highway.

Despite those incidents, this year’s three-week travel rush has seen relatively few deadly accidents compared to previous years, possibly as a result of tighter vehicle inspections to reduce the number of overloaded or poorly maintained vehicles.

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