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Blizzard Traffic Chaos Claims Three Lives

Hundreds of cars were involved in collisions caused by poor driving conditions on Thursday morning in the Helsinki region. Dozens of people were injured, and three were killed on the motorways.

Over 60 injured in the traffic chaos were taken to hospital. Nine of them were in serious condition on Friday evening.

Most of the chain pile-ups involving dozens of vehicles occurred on the Porvoo, Lahti and Hämeenlinna motorways. Some 40 vehicles were involved in the worst multiple pile-up near Kerava.

Road Administration officials described the chaos as one of the worst days in history on Finnish roads. Normally used to dealing with five or six collisions, on average, they had their hands full with more than 100 separate incidents.

Slippery highways, a blizzard and freezing drizzle took motorists dazzled by recent spring driving conditions by complete surprise.

In the aftermath of the blizzard, the Finnish Road Administration said investigations showed no evidence of negligence in snow-clearing operations.

Police said the cocktail for disaster on the roads was familiar: driving bumper to bumper at excessive speed during bad weather.

And while most of the wreckage from yesterday's pile-ups had been cleaned up by Friday morning, road officials still advise caution during the morning rush hour in the Helsinki region.

There was again a traffic advisory throughout southern and western Finland because of blowing snow or hoarfrost on the roads.

YLE24, YLE TV News

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