At least 6 dead and dozens injured in a crash of more than 90 vehicles during a dust storm in the United States

More than 90 vehicles crashed during a dust storm in the United States

at least Six people died On Monday when a dust storm caused – Multi collision involving up to 90 vehicles On Interstate 55 in central Illinois, authorities said.

Illinois State Police Major Ryan Starek said more than 30 persons Between the ages of 2 and 80 were admitted to hospitals, some with life-threatening injuries. He told a news conference that the accidents appeared to have occurred at about the same time on both sides of the rural stretch of highway that stretched for two miles.

“My heart goes out for the families. My heart goes out to anyone involved in this particular situation,” Starrick said. “It appears that due to poor visibility and high winds, things sadly came together.”

Police said about 20 miles of the highway was closed and traffic was diverted. Officials set up a command post in the town hall in divertona small town near the interstate, and a family reunion site at a nearby rest stop.

The National Weather Service office in St. Louis said dust from recently plowed fields and inclement weather combined to set the conditions. Meteorologists said that was to be expected Winds up to 40 mph Through Monday night, with the possibility of visibility rapidly dropping to near zero.

The first incidents occurred around 10:55 a.m. local time, police said, and involved two 30 commercial vehicles and between 40 and 60 passenger cars. Police said two trucks were on fire. Those who died were on the north side of the road.

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Teams from more than 30 agencies sent personnel to help, and police expected the road to be closed overnight.

Kevin Schott, director of the Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency, said emergency responders worked with dust in their eyes and in their vehicles while fighting fires and searching for victims on the road. He described the work as “very emotional”.

“This is a tough scene, something that’s very hard to rehearse, something we haven’t really experienced locally,” Schott said.

Nathan Cormier, 44, was driving home on the south side of the road when he ran into a thick wall of dust. Cormier said he swerved left when a pickup truck swerved right to avoid a truck, and then the vehicles began to collide. He said he was not involved in a collision.

“It was just cars everywhere,” he said.

Nearby, there it was a fire. Cormier said he found a fire extinguisher and tried to help, but the flames spread too quickly to other vehicles. He said he heard explosions from other fires. Cormier said he went from car to car looking for people who needed help, directing ambulance crews as they arrived.

He posted a video of the scene showing the aftermath, with Crashed and burnt vehicles It stretched along the highway, as well as thick clouds of dust as firefighters worked along the highway.

“Avoid I-55 at all costs,” he wrote in a Facebook post shortly after noon local time. Massive accumulation of dust.

Cormier said he was on the road for four or five hours before he was able to get out. While waiting, he saw workers put up a sign at least 27 vehicles to be towed.

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Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker (D) said he has been monitoring the “terrible situation” and that his office is in contact with state police, as well as emergency management and transportation agencies.

“Our first aid and emergency management teams are working diligently to pave the way, providing medical care to those in need and partnering with local officials to provide support to all those affected by this tragic incident,” Pritzker said in a statement.

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