Illinois dust storm blinds drivers, 6 die in chain-reaction crashes

Illinois dust storm drivers, 6 die in chain reaction crashes<br />

Illinois, May. A dust storm that cut visibility to near zero on Monday triggered a chain reaction involving dozens of vehicles on an Illinois highway, killing six people and injuring at least two dozen others, authorities said.

Approximately 40 to 60 passenger vehicles and 30 commercial vehicles, including several tractor trucks, were involved in the gathering around 11 a.m. ET (1200 EST) on Interstate 55, state police said in a news release. in southern Illinois. .

As a result, two large trucks caught fire.

Police said the accidents occurred on both sides of I-55 on a two-mile stretch of highway near the town of Farmersville, about 200 miles (320 km) southwest of Chicago.

Police said more than 30 people were taken to area hospitals with injuries ranging from minor to life-threatening. The patients’ ages ranged from 2 to 80 years.

Julieta Hill, deputy chief of the Montgomery County Autopsy Office, confirmed by phone that at least six people are confirmed dead from the accidents. No details were immediately available about the dead.

Local media released video footage of the scene showing smashed cars and trucks collapsing into each other, some on the shoulder of the highway. The clip showed a truck burning in a thick haze of dust and smoke.

State police said the jam was caused by “strong winds that blew dirt from agricultural fields across the highway, resulting in zero visibility”.

State police said the 17-mile highway was closed in both directions for several hours.


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