BEIJING — A traffic accident in southern China killed 17 people and injured 22 others early Sunday as the annual Lunar New Year holiday travel rush got underway, authorities said.
The accident occurred outside the city of Nanchang in Jiangxi province, according to the local traffic management brigade. It wasn’t clear how many vehicles or what types were involved and the cause was under investigation, the brigade said.
Such accidents, often caused by fatigued drivers and poorly maintained or overloaded vehicles, used to be common, but tighter regulations have reduced their frequency in recent years.
Enforcement efforts on the condition of vehicles and drivers and passenger numbers are redoubled around the time of the holiday, China’s most important for family gatherings when tens of millions of migrant workers return to their hometowns.
With the end of most COVID-19 restrictions, the number of such trips is expected to double this year to more than 2 billion on and around the weeklong festival season that starts this year on Jan. 22.