At least 12 people have died while being stuck in traffic in Indonesia, reports BBC News. The traffic jam was more than 13 miles (21km) long, filling up three lanes for several days on the island of Java, during which people died of dehydration and exhaustion.
The crowds stuck in traffic were traveling to their home villages to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan, and because of building work they were forced to wait around a single traffic junction.
The majority of the people who died were elderly and they died because of the extreme heat in the cars. The day temperature in the city of Brebes, where the jam was located, was close to 30C (86F). One toddler was even poisoned to death by the exhaust fumes.
The authorities set up a hotline for those who were stranded to call in medical emergencies, but it is difficult to imagine how help could be able to reach those in trouble.
Transport officials declared that the deaths happened between Sunday and Tuesday. Transport ministry spokesman Hemi Pramuraharjo told the Agence France-Presse new agency that “There’s no space on the road. We don’t have a solution.”
Roads leading to Jakarta are expected to be busy over the weekend, as people are coming back from the Eid al-Fitr festival which marks the end of Ramadan. The Indonesian health ministry advises people who are planning long car journeys to rest along the way and take all the necessary precautions.