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(LEAD) Multiple pileups on highway kill at least 7, injure more than 30

All Headlines 14:10 December 14, 2019

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead, paras 4 and 7 with updates on latest casualties figures; ADDS more info in 3rd para)

SEOUL, Dec. 14 (Yonhap) -- Two massive pileups occurred within moments on a highway in the country's southeast early Saturday, killing at least seven people and injuring 32 others, officials said.

The first crash occurred at about 4:40 a.m., when some 10 vehicles, including cargo trucks, collided on a highway en route to Youngcheon, North Gyeongsang Province, 301 kilometers south of Seoul.

Some 20 other vehicles that had followed behind crashed successively.

Flames envelop vehicles after a pileup occurred on a highway in North Gyeongsang Province, 301 kilometers south of Seoul, in this photo provided by a witness on Dec. 14, 2019. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Six people died, and 14 others were wounded, according to the police.

Firefighters put out the flames in several vehicles in about two hours, they said.

Another collision happened around the same time, in the opposite side of the same highway involving about 20 vehicles, the authorities said.

One person was killed and 18 others were wounded.

The police and firefighters pointed to black ice as the most likely cause of the crashes. The officials are investigating the scene to find out more details, they said.

Authorities examine the scene after multiple pileups occurred on a highway in North Gyeongsang Province, 301 kilometers south of Seoul, on Dec. 14, 2019. (Yonhap)

elly@yna.co.kr
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