At least five people died Thursday in an accident involving nearly 100 vehicles on a Texas highway, it was slippery due to ice formed by an intense winter storm, local authorities reported.
The number of those injured was still unknown as relief forces were still working on the accident on Interstate 35 near downtown Fort Worth, police said, setting up a family reunification center at a community center.
However, according to the agency AFP, at least 36 people were taken to hospitals in the area. Fire department spokesman Michael Drivdahl told a news conference that the number could go up because rescuers continued to work..
“The situation continues to be chaotic,” he told The Weather Channel Jason McLaughlin, a professional “storm chaser”. “Looks like a couple of vehicles lost control, and when that happened the others piled up”, He added.
The winter storm dumped freezing rain, sleet and snow in various parts of the United States. The national meteorological service warned that conditions would continue in the region, thus generating conditions similar to those that caused the massive crash..
Further south in Austin more than twenty vehicles were involved in a collision on an icy road and one person was injured, reported the authorities of the emergency services.
Ice storms were also expected elsewhere. Forecasts of that nature ranged from Arkansas to Kentucky.
More than 125,000 homes and businesses were without power Thursday morning, mostly in Kentucky and West Virginia, according to a website that monitors utilities.
Meanwhile, authorities in Kentucky were asking people to stay home due to winter conditions.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said state offices would be closed due to bad weather. It declared a state of emergency, freeing up relief funds and helping agencies coordinate as they respond to reports of slippery roads and downed power lines..
Crews were responding to numerous calls for downed tree limbs and power lines, Lexington police said in a tweet in which they also asked people not to come out, “unless absolutely necessary.”
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