Multiple people were reported killed and dozens of others wounded on Monday in car crashes along Interstate 55 in southern Illinois during a dust storm, state police said.
Roughly 40 to 60 passenger cars and several big-rig trucks were involved in the crashes shortly after 11 a.m. CDT, an Illinois State Police spokesman said during an afternoon press conference.
The Weather Channel reported the iincident occurred on I-55 south of Springfield, where there were recorded wind gusts of 35-45 mph.
Some 30 people were transported to hospitals with injuries, the spokesman said. Two of the trucks caught fire, and it was possible one of them had exploded.
The highway remained closed in both directions several hours later from mile marker 63 to mile marker 80.
“My team and I are closely following the devastating crash on I-55 as authorities learn more. Please be safe as this situation continues to unfold,” U.S. Representative Nikki Budzinski of Illinois said on Twitter.
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. (photo via @wics_abc20) pic.twitter.com/rYbWKndJa6
— IDOT_Illinois (@IDOT_Illinois)
May 1, 2023