FORT WORTH, TX – Icy conditions on a Texas interstate Thursday morning lead to a horrific 100 vehicle pile-up that so far has left at least five dead and multiple people injured, according to reports.
The first crash took place on Interstate 35 West near downtown Fort Worth at approximately 6:15 a.m. Thursday, and quickly grew in scope as more and more vehicles – ranging from small passenger cars to giant 18-wheel tractor trailers – lost control on the icy road and began to repeatedly crash and pile-up into each other.
In total, officials say at least 100 vehicles were involved in the incident, resulting in five fatalities and an unknown number – but estimated to be in the dozens – of people hurt. However, these numbers will very likely increase as first responders continue to frantically probe the wreckage and investigate the scene, according to reports.
The roadway had become hazardous Thursday during morning commute hours after a storm produced freezing rain and sleet overnight, officials say. The icy and cold conditions have also impeded efforts by first responders and have introduced the threat of hypothermia to the victims that are still awaiting rescue, in addition to whatever physical trauma they may have already suffered.
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During a press conference, Fort Worth Fire Department spokesman Mike Drivdahl referred to the crash as a “mass casualty incident” and said that the Interstate will be closed for the entire day to remove the vehicles involved.
“Information will change going throughout the day as we get more information,” he said. “We are going vehicle by vehicle to make sure that anybody that is still trapped in their vehicle has been extricated, if possible. There’s a lot of vehicles to go through.”