Two people are dead and more than 120Â injured, some critically, after a massive pile-up today involving at least 100Â vehicles that left trucks twisted on top of each other and authorities rushingÂ to pull survivors from the miles of wreckage.
The Thanksgiving Day collisionÂ happened around 8am on Interstate 10 southwest of Beaumont, a Gulf Coast cityÂ about 80 miles east of Houston.
Extremely dense fog blanketing a section ofÂ theÂ Texas interstate made conditions treacherous for drivers heading to Thanksgiving holiday feasts.
A man and a woman were killed in a ChevyÂ Suburban SUV crushed by a tractor trailer, the Texas Department of Public SafetyÂ told KFDM-TV.
Officials at Acadian Ambulance service saidÂ more than 50 people have been taken to area hospitals in Beaumont, Port ArthurÂ and Winnie. At least eight are criticallyÂ hurt. The most seriously injured were being transported to Houston, about 75Â miles away.
Multiple ambulance crews responded andÂ transported patients to area hospitals.
Baptist Beaumont Hospital spokeswoman MaryÂ Poole told KFDM News they’ve received at least 21 patients. One was in criticalÂ condition. They’ve transported two children and one adult with head injuries toÂ a Houston hospital.
It wasn’t immediately clear how the pileupÂ began, but Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Rod Carroll said the fog wasÂ so thick that deputies didn’t immediately realize they were dealing withÂ multiple accidents.
The westbound lane of the interstate has beenÂ reopened, he said.
‘We have 18-wheelers on top of cars, we haveÂ cars on top of cars. It’sÂ just catastrophic,’ he said, adding that rescuersÂ were still looking for victims.
The highway had been crowded with motoristsÂ traveling during theÂ Thanksgiving holiday. Many of the vehicles were movingÂ close to theÂ posted speed of 70 mph despite dense fog that limited visibility,Â Carroll said.
Chief Charles Sonnier of the Labelle-FannettÂ Volunteer Fire Department told KFDM News the vehicles involved in the accidentsÂ include seven tractor trailers that collided on the eastbound side.
Two were carrying hazardous materials, butÂ they aren’t leaking, according to Sonnier.
Sonnier added that firefighters had to useÂ the jaws of life to cut people out of a car and pickup truck.
I-10’s eastbound lanes were expected toÂ remain closed for most of Thursday.
Texas Department of Public SafetyÂ trooperÂ Stephanie Davis told KFDM that two people in an SUV died afterÂ the crash. SheÂ said at least 100 cars and trucks were involved in theÂ accident.
Carroll said uninjured drivers tried to helpÂ as authorities sorted through the wreckage.
‘It’s just people helping people,’Â CarrollÂ said. ‘The foremost thing in this holiday season is how otherÂ travelers wereÂ helping us when we were overwhelmed, sitting and holding, putting pressure onÂ people that were injured.’
Video footage of the crash shows badlyÂ mangled vehicles atop one another and people who appeared to be injuredÂ stretched out in grass alongside the highway and on ambulance gurneys.
Long lines of cars, each battered and someÂ appearing to be totaled, lined the roadway. The vehicles included cars,Â minivans, pickups, tractor-trailer trucks and several FedExÂ trucks.
Source: The Daily Mail