Lake ice-drivers going over edge

2012-04-06 07:55

MOSCOW, Russia - Convincing ice mirages on the surface of Russia's vast Lake Baikal have fooled people into driving their cars straight into the lake.

Police in the Russian city Irkutsk said on Thursday (April 5, 2012) that eight vehicles had been driven off the winter ice and into the 640km-long lake some 4300km east of Moscow.


The official statement read: "Because of sun reflections, mirages arise and drivers moving at high speed are simply unable to see where the ice ends and the water begins.

No injuries have been reported in connection with the sinkings but, since the ice is thinning, drivers have bee exhorted to exercise particular care while driving on the frozen lake.

Geologists believe Lake Baikal - the world's deepest freshwater body of water - to be one of Earth's oldest lakes and estimate it contains some 20% of the world's fresh water.

Winter ice usually melts away by mid-May.