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China 56-car pile-up on icy motorway kills 17

Media captionAerial images showed the aftermath of the crash

A motorway pile-up involving 56 vehicles has killed 17 people in China, according to Chinese state media.

The crash happened on Monday morning on an icy road in North China’s province of Shanxi.

An additional 37 people were injured when the vehicles collided during snowy and rainy weather on the Beijing-Kunming expressway.

Images from the scene showed lorries that had been completely crushed by the impact.

One truck was thrown through the air, landing on the vehicles in front of it, while others dangled off the side of the road, above a sharp drop to the ground below.

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AP

Image caption

Rescuers tend to the aftermath of a motorway pile-up on the Beijing-Kunming expressway in northern China

Cranes were brought to the scene as rescuers tried to work through the wreckage.

State media has since reported that all the injured are in a stable condition.

The World Health Organization estimates that more than 250,000 people die in traffic accidents every year across China, though official government statistics report a far lower number.