By Humphrey Carter A 31-YEAR-OLD woman was in a critical condition in Palma's Son Dureta hospital last night after having been seriously injured in a five car pile-up along the Inca motorway during yesterday's rush hour.

The accident occurred at 8.40am at the Santa Maria exit when, according to the Guardia Civil traffic police, one of the vehicles involved apparently veered across the central reservation into the path of traffic heading to Palma causing the multiple collision.

Sources for the 061 emergency service first on the scene said that the accident looked far worse than it actually was. Vehicles and parts were littered across one side of the motorway and three people were injured. Two suffered minor injuries but the worst affected, the 31-year-old woman, suffered a heart attack at the scene but was stabilised by paramedics before being rushed to Son Dureta. The accident caused serious tail backs of nearly five kilometres in both directions with traffic down to just the one lane as the emergency teams treated the victims and fire fighters from the Inca brigade removed the damaged vehicles and cleaned the road.

Traffic eventually returned to normal just after midday although a number of Guardia Civil traffic investigators remained at the scene establishing the exact cause of the crash which could have proven fatal considering the heavy flow of traffic along the motorway at that time of the morning.