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Pileup of 25 vehicles sees section of Tallinn Ring Road closed for hours

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Traffic  chaos in and around Tallinn on January 11, 2024.
Traffic chaos in and around Tallinn on January 11, 2024. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR, PPA

A stretch of the Luige-Kurna section of the so-called Tallinn Ring Road (E265) had to be closed to traffic Friday until almost 5 p.m. following a multiple-vehicle collision. At least 25 cars were damaged and 11 people injured.

The Transport Administration said that both directions of travel were opened on the Jüri-Kurna section of the so-called Tallinn Ring Road (E265 / 11) a little before 5 p.m.

Trucks, vans and passengers cars were involved in the multiple-vehicle collision of which the police were first notified at 9:15 a.m. While most of the series of accidents that led to the pileup were not serious.

Elari Haugas, head of the forensic unit of the North Prefecture's Criminal Bureau, told ERR that at least 25 vehicles were involved in the multiple collision. Eleven people were hurt and eight had to be taken to hospital. Preliminary information suggests there were no serious injuries.

Rescuers from Assaku were the first on the scene at 9:35 a.m. and efforts were launched to determine whether there had been injuries and the full extent of the situation.

Rescue workers disconnected the batteries of the damaged vehicles to rule out the risk of fire, while hydraulic tools were needed to get one injured person out of the vehicle they were in.

By midday, Assaku, City Center and Lasnamäe rescue commandos were at the scene, joined by volunteers from Saku and Saue. A shelter container had been set up at the location to aid in rescue efforts and where people can take cover from the cold.

Margus Magus, head of the northern department of the Transport Administration's road maintenance service, said that major snow clearing operations will begin once the road sections in question have been cleared of obstacles. "I cannot say when this will be as vehicles that were involved in the pileup are being towed away from the scene as we speak," he added.

Snow showers and blizzard created poor conditions Friday morning and erely afternoon with roads covered in ice and snow.

Haugas added that proceedings will determine the cause of the pileup, while it is clear that changeable weather conditions where a thaw recently gave way to freezing temperatures and snowfall played a role.

Car lands on pedestrian path on Sossi Hill in Tallinn

In Tallinn, a passenger car could be seen lying on its side in the middle of the sidewalk on Sossi Hill a little before noon.

Driver Siim told Elu24 that he was looking to turn left on Masina after coming down the hill on Tartu maantee but the car got into a skid and he decided in favor of the sidewalk as opposed to sliding into oncoming traffic.

"I hoped I would come to a stop before I ran out of road, but the car just kept sliding," he said.

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Editor: Mirjam Mäekivi, Marcus Turovski

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