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Two dead and more than 120 injured in massive pileup involving over 100 vehicles on foggy Texas interstate

Two people are dead and more than 120  injured, some critically, after a massive pile-up today involving at least 100  vehicles that left trucks twisted on top of each other and authorities rushing  to pull survivors from the miles of wreckage.

The Thanksgiving Day collision  happened around 8am on Interstate 10 southwest of Beaumont, a Gulf Coast city  about 80 miles east of Houston.

Extremely dense fog blanketing a section of  the  Texas interstate made conditions treacherous for drivers heading to Thanksgiving holiday feasts.

A man and a woman were killed in a Chevy  Suburban SUV crushed by a tractor trailer, the Texas Department of Public Safety  told KFDM-TV.

Officials at Acadian Ambulance service said  more than 50 people have been taken to area hospitals in Beaumont, Port Arthur  and Winnie. At least eight are critically  hurt. The most seriously injured were being transported to Houston, about 75  miles away.

Multiple ambulance crews responded and  transported patients to area hospitals.

Baptist Beaumont Hospital spokeswoman Mary  Poole told KFDM News they’ve received at least 21 patients. One was in critical  condition. They’ve transported two children and one adult with head injuries to  a Houston hospital.

It wasn’t immediately clear how the pileup  began, but Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Rod Carroll said the fog was  so thick that deputies didn’t immediately realize they were dealing with  multiple accidents.

The westbound lane of the interstate has been  reopened, he said.

‘We have 18-wheelers on top of cars, we have  cars on top of cars. It’s  just catastrophic,’ he said, adding that rescuers  were still looking for victims.

He said the initial accidents took place  separately about a mile apart on the east- and westbound sides of the  interstate.

The highway had been crowded with motorists  traveling during the  Thanksgiving holiday. Many of the vehicles were moving  close to the  posted speed of 70 mph despite dense fog that limited visibility,  Carroll said.

Chief Charles Sonnier of the Labelle-Fannett  Volunteer Fire Department told KFDM News the vehicles involved in the accidents  include seven tractor trailers that collided on the eastbound side.

Two were carrying hazardous materials, but  they aren’t leaking, according to Sonnier.

Sonnier added that firefighters had to use  the jaws of life to cut people out of a car and pickup truck.

I-10’s eastbound lanes were expected to  remain closed for most of Thursday.

Texas Department of Public Safety  trooper  Stephanie Davis told KFDM that two people in an SUV died after  the crash. She  said at least 100 cars and trucks were involved in the  accident.

Carroll said uninjured drivers tried to help  as authorities sorted through the wreckage.

‘It’s just people helping people,’  Carroll  said. ‘The foremost thing in this holiday season is how other  travelers were  helping us when we were overwhelmed, sitting and holding, putting pressure on  people that were injured.’

Video footage of the crash shows badly  mangled vehicles atop one another and people who appeared to be injured  stretched out in grass alongside the highway and on ambulance gurneys.

Long lines of cars, each battered and some  appearing to be totaled, lined the roadway. The vehicles included cars,  minivans, pickups, tractor-trailer trucks and several FedEx  trucks.

Source: The Daily Mail

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Posted by on November 22, 2012. Filed under NY News,Slider. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.