Horrific motorway crash ignites German safety debate

131 people were injured and eight died in an 83-car pile-up on the German autobahn near Rostock at the weekend, caused by a freak sandstorm.

The stretch of motorway concerned had an unrestricted speed limit, and a temporary limit of 50mph has now been imposed in the area - debate has already begun on the safety of the country's roads.
German transport minister Peter Ramsauer has already ruled out the introduction of a national speed limit on the country's motorways.

He told journalists that a blanket limit would not be necessary because "the laws of nature simply set their own safety limits."

Intense fires caused by crashed lorries meant that firefighters couldn't approach the centre of the crash site until more than 24 hours after the accident, and high winds continued to affect efforts to clear the scene.

Parts of the road have also melted in the fire, which could mean that repair time will run into months – the crash took place over 110 metres across eight lanes of motorway.

Reopening of the A19 autobahn is also being put off as police try to reconstruct exactly how the accident happened.

Click below to see footage of the scene following the incident.

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