Five people died and seven were injured in a series of car accidents Friday on icy expressways in southwest China's Guizhou Province, police said.
Ice accumulating on highways had led to three serious car accidents in Guizhou, as of 6 p.m. on Friday, including a 10-car pile-up and two rollover accidents which, together, killed five people and injured seven, said a spokesman with the province's public security department.
A cold snap since New Year's Day has left parts of Guizhou covered in ice. Though most expressways have already reopened to traffic, police warned it remains risky to drive on the icy roads as sleet continues and the temperature still lingers below freezing.
More than 840 traffic police officers were working on the highways Friday to keep traffic moving. The transport department has spread salt to de-ice the roads along with sand to prevent cars from sliding, said the spokesman.
In neighboring Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, 70 roads remained disrupted as of Friday afternoon due to the icy weather. Emergency crews have been working around clock to clear the ice and they reported 52 roads had been reopened as of Friday, said a spokesman with the region's transport department.
The cold snap has also ravaged east China's Fujian Province in the past few days. As of noon Friday, 176 bus lines had suspended operations, as many roads in the province were also covered by ice, said a spokesman with Fujian's transport management bureau.
The bureau has also required vehicles be equipped with tire chains and antifreeze fluid before they hit the road.