Over 10 vehicles collided in the Chennai-Vellore National Highway due to poor visibility during the early hours of the day, owing to the Bhogi celebrations in the state.
The accident occurred at 7.30 am when a Swift Desire car rammed into a Tata Ace, as the driver was unable to see the vehicles in front due to heavy smog, police sources said. In an attempt to avoid a pile up, vehicles behind tried to swerve.
At least ten people have been injured and admitted in the hospital.
The pictures show cars and lorries smashed, with broken windshields. Three trucks, a mini-truck and six cars were damaged in the accident.
Chennai woke up to a smoggy morning with the particulate matter (PM) levels in at least two locations in the city crossing 500 micrograms.
Few morning flights were also delayed as the thick blanket of smog affected visibility.
Bhogi is the first day of the harvest festival Pongal in Tamil Nadu, where people light bonfires. This is seen as a symbol of letting go of the old and heralding in the new.
‘Chennai Tops the World Ranking of Having the Most Polluted Air as of Today’
Tamil Nadu weather blogger Pradeep John, tweeted that, Chennai topped the World Ranking of having the most polluted air on Tuesday.
Chennai tops the World Ranking of having the most polluted air as of Today. At one point the PM 2.5 of Manali touched 795 while US Consulate touched 722.— TamilNadu Weatherman (@praddy06) January 14, 2020
Please comment sensibly. I respect the tradition of our people burning old things, irrespective whether it is right or wrong. pic.twitter.com/w6hZKQvS6K
Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) Sameer App showed that the continuous air quality monitoring station in Manali recording a maximum of 500 micrograms of particulate matter of a size below 2.5 microns (PM2.5), which according to the Air Quality Index (AQI) could cause respiratory problems upon prolonged exposure.
The AQI also recorded an average of 109 microgram/cubic metre in Alandur, 99 microgram/cubic metre in Velachery and 160 microgram/cubic metre at the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board’s (TNPCB) Manali station, much higher than the usual numbers.
Pradeep John explained that despite lighting less bonfires last year, it was due to the lack of winds that such high pollution levels were recorded.
Chennai Air Quality improves to safe level with winds picking up. So why did Chennai Air quality got worse with even reduced burning than last year. The actual reason for air quality became worse was due to complete lack of winds in the City and Airport.— TamilNadu Weatherman (@praddy06) January 14, 2020
Happy Pongal to all. pic.twitter.com/WvEqNiZZUc
The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board had even spread awareness amongst people to not burn plastic. Many experts had urged people to celebrate the festival without having to burn goods in large quantities.
Alert Warning from the Airport
Ahead of the harvest festival, the Chennai International Airport had requested residents who live near the airport to avoid burning objects which create thick smoke in the air.
Kindly take note !!! pic.twitter.com/8fKAi1CcQf— Chennai (MAA) Airport (@aaichnairport) January 13, 2020
Back in 2018, the Chennai International Airport had faced extensive cancellations, delays and diversions of flights due to smog that reduced visibility around the airport. However, the extent of disruption due to smoke from Bhogi bonfire was lesser in 2019 due to intense sensitisation among the people who lived in close proximity to the airport, the announcement added.
Early this morning, a Mysuru-bound flight couldn’t take off because of poor visibility.
Twitter Complains About Smog-Covered City
Residents took to Twitter to shares images of Chennai roads hazed over with thin, white smoke.
#Bhogi Greetings— Chetan Anand Koka (@chetanishere) January 14, 2020
An age old tradition greets us with a thick blanket of Smog in Chennai
If you have ever stepped into a smoking room at an airport being a non smoker (Which I did once by mistake) you will know the feeling
Waiting for the weather god Vayu to do his work pic.twitter.com/Ixx0KrajJK
Smog in Chennai thanks to #bhogi. People can't see vehicles in opposite direction. Air quality dropped to 'Hazardous' levels in various places. #MyAQI @AQI_India— vaitheeswaran (@vaithee888) January 14, 2020
Shot at Nungambakkam pic.twitter.com/tMF8eGXlga
Hi Delhi Smog.— Prashant Seetharaman (@thebrahminator) January 14, 2020
Chennai Smog (During every Bhogi)
Chennai was covered by smoke today— Tamil selvan (@TamilSelvan_T_S) January 14, 2020
Soon Chennai and Delhi will be the same in polluting air
The health effects of air pollution imperial human lives #Chennai #AirQuality #AirPollution #chennaismog #delhipollution #breathe #pollution #ClimateCrisis #nature #fog #smoke #Air pic.twitter.com/Fy3wZFH6x4
In the smog, the nearby buildings are hazy, the sun is hidden behind a thick curtain of clouds, but strangely the moon is visible, as a distant speck, even at this hour. #Chennai pic.twitter.com/VbeUDgMv84— K Balakumar (@kbalakumar) January 14, 2020
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