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Quebeckers suffer road accidents, injuries after major snowstorm

A man runs with a sled carrying children during a snowstorm in Quebec City on Dec. 15, 2013.

MATHIEU BELANGER/REUTERS

The storm that dumped up to 30 centimetres of snow on southern Quebec over the weekend caused major road accidents resulting in some severe injuries.

A young woman was in critical condition in hospital on Sunday after the car she was in was hit in a 13-vehicle crash in Quebec City on the Dufferin-Montmorency highway, said Sgt. Ann Mathieu of the Sûreté du Québec.

Two other people suffered major injuries and two others were treated for shock, she said.

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Extreme cold and high winds hampered rescue efforts.

Meanwhile, the westbound lanes on Highway 40 in East End Montreal were closed for several hours beginning late Sunday morning after a pileup of about 15 vehicles. Several people were transported to hospital but it's not believed there were any serious injuries, said Sgt. Mathieu.

The Laurentian Autoroute north of Montreal was partially closed after a pileup involving about five vehicles, according to news reports.

Temperatures in some areas of the province dipped to more than minus 30 with the wind chill.

Transport Québec reported that dozens of vehicles swerved off the road on highways throughout the province.

High winds and blowing snow seriously reduced visibility in some regions, said Transport Quebec.

In the Montreal area, a total weekend accumulation of about 30 centimetres was expected by Sunday night.

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It was Montreal's first major snowstorm of the winter.

Many flights out of Montreal-Trudeau Airport were cancelled or delayed over the weekend.

Via Rail, however, said it was operating according to its regular schedule Sunday in the Quebec City-Windsor corridor.

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