Heavy hailstone showers cause havoc on roads – including major 15-vehicle collision
Heavy hailstone showers in Cork has caused havoc on the roads – with multiple incidents occurring this afternoon.
A section of the Cork-Waterford road has been closed following a major collision involving up to 15 vehicles.
The accident, which is being blamed on freak weather conditions, occurred on the N25 road between Fota Island and Little Island.
The collision occurred in the westbound lane shortly before 3pm.
Emergency services were at the scene within minutes but, such was the number of vehicles involved, the entire road has had to be closed to traffic between Junction 3 and Cobh Cross.
Massive traffic congestion has resulted and Gardai have appealed to motorists to avoid the area.
It is understood that none of the injuries involved are life-threatening.
However, a number of motorists are being taken to Cork University Hospital (CUH) for soft tissue injuries.
One middle aged man is being assessed for back injuries.
Another car contained two children but they were not injured.
Emergency services are at the scene and Gardai warned that the road will remain closed for some time.
Midleton Gardai and fire brigade units from Midleton, Cobh and Cork are attending to the injured.
Gardai have appealed for witnesses to the accident.
However, it is suspected weather including driving rain and sleet played a part in the crash.
Meanwhile, emergency services are at the scene of a second multi-vehicle crash on the N8 between Mitchelstown and Kilbehenny.
Traffic is being diverted through Mitchelstown and motorists are advised to avoid the area if possible.
A third multi-vehicle accident occurred between Rathcormac and Watergrasshill on Monday evening which forced the closure of part of the M8 Dublin-Cork motorway.
That collision, which involved up to five vehicles, was also blamed on freak weather conditions.
As heavy rain and hail showers are forecast this evening the 29th March 2016, An Garda Síochána appeals to road users to take extra care on the roads and for drivers to always drive at a speed appropriate to the conditions.
Gardai have issued a warning for all road users this evening to beware of the hazardous driving conditions.
Road users are advised:
• Allow extra distance between you and the vehicle in front as it takes longer to stop in wet conditions
• Heavy hail showers will make roads slippery, increase stopping distances and reduce visibility.
• Take special care when driving behind trucks or buses as they generate a considerable amount of spray which reduces your visibility.
• Watch out for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
• Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists are advised to be seen. Wear bright clothing with reflective armbands or a reflective belt.
• Pedestrians should walk on a footpath, and if there is no footpath, walk on the right hand side of the road facing oncoming traffic.