One dead in a pile-up on the A72 near Saint-Etienne

A 71-year-old man died and several people were injured on Monday morning in a pile-up involving around thirty vehicles on the A72 north of Saint-Etienne (Loire), an accident possibly linked to the ice, we learned with firefighters and Vinci Autoroutes. The provisional toll is one dead and three people in absolute emergency, according to the Departmental Fire and Rescue Service (Sdis), which sent 80 firefighters to the scene in 35 vehicles.

Several other people were injured more lightly, added the Loire prefecture, which advises motorists to avoid the area of ​​the accident, to free access to emergency services and to exercise caution in view of the weather conditions, especially on icy road surfaces. The accident took place near Veauchette, in the direction of Saint-Etienne, between a heavy goods vehicle and several cars. The A72 has been cut off to traffic in both directions for around 6:40 a.m. between exits number 7 (Montbrison) and number 8 (Andrézieux-Bouthéon), specifies the manager Vinci Autoroutes, and should remain so for several hours.

The highway cut off in both directions

In all, “no less than 23 vehicles were involved, including 9 heavy goods vehicles and 4 utility vehicles”, announced Catherine Seguin, prefect of the Loire. “We know that the road was particularly icy, we were on snow-ice yellow vigilance.”

Lieutenant-Colonel Didier Michaud, of Sdis-42, told AFP that “the highway will be kept closed to traffic in both directions at least until midday, for the evacuation of all damaged vehicles and for the needs of the gendarmerie investigation”. The mayor of Andrézieux-Bouthéon François Driol has made available a municipal village hall “to accommodate around twenty shipwrecked people on the road”, he explained.

Another less serious pileup occurred Monday morning in the same department on the A89 towards Sainte-Colombe-sur-Gand, involving seven vehicles. And an accident shortly after 9:30 a.m. between three heavy goods vehicles and a car caused long traffic jams on the A46 (in the direction of Paris) at the border between the Rhône and Isère, south of Lyon, with a cut in the highway.

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