A total of 12 Czechs died in road accidents on Friday, the highest number on any single day so far this year. The previous record stood at eight fatalities. In the worst accident of what has been dubbed “Black Friday,” five people were killed after two cars crashed into each other near the eastern town of Karviná. Media reports said amounts of what was suspected to be the drug pervitin had been found by police in one of the cars. A recent spate of fatal accidents has been blamed on the hot weather, alcohol, and speeding. Twenty-six people were killed during the long four-day holiday weekend which started on July 3.
Traffic police reported the highest number of road deaths in a single day this year – after 10 people lost their lives on Czech roads on Friday. Traffic police attribute this to the current heat-wave in combination with speeding and alcohol. Last week’s extended four-day weekend took 26 lives. The police have appealed to drivers to exercise greater caution, to avoid unnecessary risks and take frequent breaks when driving in heavy traffic.
The extended four-day weekend has proved to be one of the most tragic on Czech roads. Traffic police report 26 road deaths attributed to heavy traffic, the heat and drinking and driving. In one case a cyclist was killed after cycling in the opposite lane on a highway, in another a 22-year-old drunk man without a license mowed into a group of people on a bus stop. The first weekend of the school holidays was all the more tragic for the fact that ten people drowned, mostly through alcohol and irresponsible behaviour.
Two parts of the 6-kilometre tunnel being dug near Prague Castle collapsed on Tuesday, burying a worker for six hours and leaving a gaping hole in a garden of the Ministry of Culture. And it wasn’t the first time; the Blanka Tunnel has collapsed on two other occasions in the course of its construction, and concerned citizens and officials are losing their patience.
It was a long weekend for the Czech Republic this weekend, with the country closing early on Friday afternoon and public holidays on both Monday and Tuesday. But while most people spent the five-day break relaxing at the cottage or cooling off in the local pond, dozens of families across the Czech Republic are mourning the 26 people killed in road accidents – often senseless, always horrific – that took place over the holiday weekend.
The police said 21 people died in accidents on Czech roads over the prolonged weekend. Friday saw more road deaths than any day since the beginning of the year, with eight people killed. Six of those deaths occurred in Central Bohemia, where rescue services in said they were called out to 20 accidents on that day alone. The end of the school year, the last day of which was Wednesday, and the beginning of summer holidays tends to bring with it increased rates of road accidents.
Rail service in the Moravian town of Olomouc is gradually reopening on Sunday afternoon after a locomotive collided with a cargo train that was leaving the station. No one was injured in the accident, which left eight wagons and the single locomotive derailed. Railway inspectors are working to determine whether the collision was caused by the engineer or by a technical malfunction. One track is now open at the station, with speeds limited to 10 km/h. Long-distance routes are diverted in a number of areas in Moravia and some connections are delayed by up to 60 minutes. The total damage to the rail infrastructure and vehicles has been estimated at five million crowns.
Road accidents also took a grave toll at the weekend, with 17 deaths between Friday and Sunday. That number is one of the highest for the first weekend of summer holidays since 2001, when 21 people lost their lives. Friday saw more road deaths than any day since the beginning of the year, with eight people killed. Six of those deaths occurred in Central Bohemia, where rescue services in said they were called out to 20 accidents on that day alone. The end of the school year, the last day of which was Wednesday, and the beginning of summer holidays tends to bring with it increased rates of road accidents.
Motorways around the country are jammed as Czechs leave the cities at the start of summer holidays and a four-day weekend. Long columns have in a number of places, particularly on the D1 motorway from Prague to Brno at the exits from Prague, where the column stretches into the city. Drivers must also expect slower conditions in neighbouring countries, especially when heading south. Traffic on German and Croatian roads is also reported to be jammed in places due to the influx. According to the Association of Czech Travel Agencies roughly a million people are expected to leave for holidays between Friday and Saturday evening.
Road accidents took the lives of eight people between Friday and Saturday; six of the fatal accidents occurred in Central Bohemia. One person was killed on the D5 motorway near Žebrák when two lorries collided. One of the lorries apparently stopped short to avoid hitting an animal when the second vehicle crashed into it, killing the driver. In another accident in the town of Votice, a 59-year-old driver was found dead after his car crashed into a fence. The police believe that health problems may have been involved. Both accidents are being investigated. Rescue services in the region said they were called out to 20 accidents on Friday alone. The end of the school year, the last day of which was Wednesday, and the beginning of summer holidays tends to bring with it increased rates of road accidents.
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