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September 6, 2009

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Inexperience kills 1, hurts 12

POLICE blamed driver inexperience for an accident that killed one person and injured 12 others in Shanghai's Pudong New Area yesterday.

According to an initial investigation, the driver, whose surname was Tang, mistook the accelerator for the brake out of lack of driving experience after hitting another vehicle.

Tang's car swerved around madly and ran down 13 people, mostly senior citizens who were en route to a nearby vegetable market, about 8am in a neighborhood in Linyi Road.

The victim was a 56-year-old woman. The oldest of the injured was 87 and the youngest an infant, Pudong police said.

The injured, mostly suffering bone fractures, are being treated at local hospitals, police said.

The community was crowded with stalls and peddlers along the street, according to witnesses, when a silver Volkswagon Golf driving through the residential area hit a white minibus parked on the street.

The car sped ahead instead of pulling over and hit a dozen people, including both pedestrians and cyclists, and two other cars before crashing into a wall after running 100 meters. "It was like a mowing machine cutting grass," said one witness. The woman was killed instantly and another two women, one aged 83 and another 87, were seriously injured.

All the injured were rushed to the nearest hospitals.

Chaos reigned in the street where pieces of cars and chairs, shoes and bloodstains could be seen everywhere as evidence of the tragedy.

Police said the driver, a 37-year-old local, probably stepped on the gas instead of the brake in fear and haste.

This resulted in the tragedy, they said.

There are five food markets in the community and cars parked on the side of the street make the thoroughfare more congested and dangerous, residents said.

They highlighted the potential safety hazard at the scene, saying people and cars scrambling for road space was common.

"Controls must be intensified and it is urgent," said a resident.

"Most people wandering around outside at that time of the morning are the elderly heading to the food markets."


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