A 100 vehicle pile-up in Texas caused by icy road conditions has left five drivers dead and many others trapped stuck as rescuers work to administer aid.
The Fort Worth Fire Department tweeted about the pileup at 8am on Thursday morning on the North Freeway. The immediate cause of the accident is unclear.
Weather conditions late last night, which included a sleet storm, contributed to the dangerous driving conditions.
A photo shared by the Fort Worth Fire Department shows fire fighters trying to gain entry to a cargo truck that became wedged between two other cargo trucks on the highway.
Mike Drivdahl, of the Fort Worth Fire Department, told ValleyCentral.com that firefighters were going car-to-car to check for people who needed medical attention.
“Information will change going throughout the day as we get more information,” Fort Worth Fire Department public information officer Mike Drivdahl said during a morning press conference. “We are going vehicle, by vehicle, to make sure that anybody that is still trapped in their vehicle has been extricated, if possible. There’s a lot of vehicles to go through.”
At least 36 people have already been transported to area hospitals since emergency crews arrived. Some seriously injured individuals were taken to local trauma centres.
Rescue crews have to fight not only to locate the injured, but also to protect themselves and the victims of the crash from hypothermia.
Mr Drivdahl said it would be some time before the enormous wreck was cleared, and advised drivers to avoid the highway and to stay at home unless absolutely necessary.
“If you don’t have to get out, please don’t get out,” Mr Drivdahl said in a live phone interview on NBC 5. “We have a lot of emergency crews doing a lot of work. The last thing we need is people who don’t need to be out getting into any type of accidents.”
Thin ice sheets caused havoc across several parts of Texas on Thursday morning.
A 26-car pile up was reported in Austin, and one person died in a multi-vehicle pileup in Dallas.
Police said in addition to the morning's chaos, there were multiple crashes overnight, including some that damaged city vehicles.
In Arlington, emergency workers responded to 82 crashes by 10 am, most occurring on bridges and overpasses.
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