Two killed in accident that closed E18

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Two persons were killed Friday morning in a traffic accident involving four cars on the E18 highway southwest of Oslo. At least one of the cars burst into flames.

Police were still trying to sort out what happened in the early morning hours  on one of the few divided multi-lane highways in Norway. The accident, described as a pile-up at high speed, occurred at Kopstad not far from Horten.

It closed the northbound lanes of the major and heavily trafficked highway that already saw its southbound lanes closed after a bridge collapse early last month.

Emergency crews were first alerted to the accident at 5:48am. Police could confirm shortly after 7am that two persons were confirmed dead. Two others were also involved in the accident, according to police, but they were uninjured. The numbers indicated that there were no passengers in the cars involved, only their drivers.

There was thick fog in the area at the time of the accident and “I would think that was part of the reason for the crash,” police operations leader Dag Asle Gjølstad told state broadcaster NRK. “When I drove here myself this morning, there was very poor visibility and driving conditions were difficult.”

The fog was also cited by other rescue workers. “The fog was so thick in the area that when crews from the Kopstad fire department stood on the bridge over the E18 (at the Kopstad intersection), they couldn’t see the car that was burning just 50 to 100 meters away,” wrote the local emergency response agency Vestfold Interkommunale Brannvesen (VIB) in a press statement.

The scene of the accident was cordoned off and the northbound lanes of the E18 were closed at Kopstad. Detours were set up via Bispeveien.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund