'Multiple' people killed after pile-up on Illinois Interstate 55
‘Multiple’ people are killed and at least 30 hospitalized after massive 40-car pile-up on Illinois Interstate 55 during dust storm
‘Multiple’ people have been killed and at least 30 hospitalized after a dangerous dust storm led to a massive pile-up on Interstate 55 south of Springfield, Illinois.
State Police said the crash involved at least 40 to 60 passenger cars. It is not yet known how many people have died.
A stretch of the highway between was forced to shut and traffic was being diverted. It is expected to be closed until Tuesday afternoon.
Officials have established a reunification post for families of crash victims at the city hall in Divernon, a small town near the highway.
Videos and photos posted on social media show plumes of smoke and mangled and burning vehicles – and there were reports of explosions.
Shocking images of the aftermath show plumes of smoke and mangled vehicles on the road
State Police said the crash involved at least 40 to 60 passenger cars
Officials have established a reunification post for families of crash victims in Divernon
A dust storm is to blame for a major pileup on a highway in central Illinois on Monday
High winds blew freshly ploughed soil from nearby farms onto the road, creating the dust bowl and leading to dangerously low visibility.
The highway closures are northbound and southbound between mileposts 63 and 80 which spans from southern Sangamon County through northern Montgomery County.
‘Interstate 55 in southern Sangamon and northern Montgomery counties remains closed in both directions because of numerous crashes caused by a dust storm, which has greatly reduced visibility,’ the state Department of Transportation said in a Tweet.
The National Weather Service in Lincoln, Illinois, issued a ‘blowing dust warning’ at 1.25pm central time, warning that visibility was ‘less than a quarter of a mile.’
The warning read: ‘Visibility can become zero at times. If you encounter blowing dust on the roadway or see it approaching, pull off the road as far as possible.’
Illinois State Police said said the pileup involved 40 to 60 passenger vehicles
Interstate 55 is shut down from milepost 52 – 80 in both directions following the incident
More than 30 people have been taken to hospital after a dust storm led to a massive pile-up
High winds blew freshly ploughed soil from nearby farms onto the road, creating the dust bowl
It also warned that strong west to northwest winds would continue through Tuesday, which could cause difficult driving conditions.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
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