Dust and dirt whipped up by high winds blinded dozens of motorists on a north German highway on Friday, triggering a mass accident, which killed at least eight people and injured 60 others.
The sudden sandstorm, which struck south of the eastern German coastal town of Rostock, reduced visibility on the A19 autobahn to zero in a matter of seconds.
In both directions on the Berlin-Rostock motorway, cars and trucks crashed into each other. Police said that between 40-50 vehicles were involved and that 17 cars and three trucks caught fire. A hazardous materials transport was reportedly also among the wrecked vehicles.
At least eight people were killed and of the 60 people hurt, at least 27 were sent to surrounding hospitals with serious injuries. Numerous drivers were trapped in their cars, according to
The A19 is a major link leading to the Baltic Sea resorts, a popular weekend destination with Berliners. Authorities have yet to say if the stretch of motorway close to the village of Kavelstorf has a speed limit or not.
Many of Germany's motorways have no speed limits and cars regularly move at speeds close to 200 kph.,