Out of Control Crane Slams Into 31-Car Line at Toll Station in China

Crane-like truck smashes into 31 cars after brake malfunction 5 photos
Photo: Xinhua /
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A crane-like truck crashed into cars waiting in line outside the toll station on the Lanzhou-Haikou Expressway in China, the Gansu province.
The driver of the crane lost control of the vehicle as he was going down the 17km downhill stretch and slammed into the waiting cars, about 50m from the Lanzhou South Toll Station. 31 vehicles in total were involved in the fatal accident: China Daily reports that 15 people have already died and 44 are injured.

All victims have been transported to local hospitals, but 10 of those injured are listed as “in critical condition.” Meanwhile, the driver of the truck suffered only minor injuries.

Questioned by the police, he said his brakes malfunctioned by means of an explanation. He has been detained and is in police custody for the duration of the investigation. For the time being, authorities have no reason to doubt his explanation, but at the same time, it’s true this was his first time on the Lanzhou-Haikou Expressway. Lack of experience at the wheel of such a large vehicle could have also played a part in the way events unfolded.

“The Gansu provincial authorities demanded examination on dangerous sections of expressways across the province,” the report also notes, hinting that authorities are looking at all possible causes for the crash.

The accident took place late on Saturday, and as of Sunday morning, the toll station was still closed. Later that day, authorities managed to clear the scene of all wreckage and debris, and the station was open to the public again.

Over 260 policemen from the Lanzhou Municipal Public Security Bureau, together with local traffic police and the district police worked together to rescue the victims and dispatch them to nearby hospitals. Further details have not been made public, but on-scene photos released online show the magnitude of the pile-up.
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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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