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Over 100 flights and trains affected after dense fog shrouds northern India reducing visibility

Over 100 flights were affected on Wednesday as the season’s worst fog enveloped Delhi in the early hours, plunging visibility to under 50 metres in some areas of the Indian capital as the air quality index dipped.

At least one person was killed in the most populous state of Uttar Pradesh, following an accident due to the haze engulfing the region.

Indian Railways reported delays of more than an hour for as many as 25 trains, following a red alert issued by the weather office for “very dense fog” in the national capital region. This alert extended to the neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan.

At least 110 flights, including domestic and international arrivals were affected, according to the Delhi Airport Flight Information Display system.

“[The fog] developed in the night and morning hours and has lasted a longer duration as compared to Tuesday,” a Met official told the Hindustan Times, saying it was the thickest on Wednesday.

The Indian Meteorological Department classifies fog as “shallow” when visibility is between 500 and 1000m, “moderate” when between 200 and 500m, “dense” when visibility ranges between 50 and 200m, and “very dense” when under 50m.

The officials also cautioned about the potential impact on rail, road and air traffic in the northern states due to significantly reduced visibility. Uttar Pradesh reported several accidents, resulting in the death of at least one person and injuries to more than a dozen individuals.

In a serial collision reported on the Agra-Lucknow expressway, an SUV crashed into the rear of a bus, which was rammed into by a Sedan.  The bonnet and the rear of the vehicle were crushed from the impact.

Meanwhile, in the city of Bareilly, a speeding truck rammed into a house, and in Agra, two trucks collided with each other, reported NDTV.

The climate conditions were further hit in Delhi as the air quality index deteriorated from 377 on Tuesday to 380 on Wednesday. It is likely to remain in the severe category until Friday, according to the Central Pollution Control Board.