According to information from the fire rescue service and Asfinag – the organization responsible for administration of Austria's highways – the pileup involved 40 to 60 cars, on both sides of the road. At least 13 people were reported to be injured.
The Local's editor was travelling to Vienna from Linz after covering the Pegida march, and saw several damaged vehicles heading east, although many more were on the west-bound side of the highway.
Traffic was delayed by at least an hour for east-bound vehicles, with west-bound cars and trucks stranded for some hours while emergency services cleared away the debris and wrecks.
The accidents were triggered by poor driving conditions, including snow, sleet and fog. None of those injured were trapped inside their vehicles, and so far there have been no reports of fatalities.
The first accident was reported around 4pm, which was a collision on the east-bound side. Even while reporting the first accident, emergency services were able to hear subsequent crashes over the telephone as following vehicles failed to stop in time due to excessive speed.
The A1 west-bound lanes closure was lifted at around 9pm.