DALLAS >> A large crash involving greater than 130 automobiles on an icy Texas interstate left six folks lifeless and dozens injured immediately amid a winter storm that dropped freezing rain, sleet and snow on elements of the U.S.
At the scene of the crash on Interstate 35 close to downtown Fort Worth, a tangle of semitrailers, automobiles and vehicles had smashed into one another and had turned each which manner, with some automobiles on prime of others.
“There were multiple people that were trapped within the confines of their vehicles and requiring the use of hydraulic rescue equipment to successfully extricate them,” stated Fort Worth Fire Chief Jim Davis.
At least 65 folks have been handled at hospitals, with 36 of them taken by ambulance from the crash website, together with three with crucial accidents, stated Matt Zavadsky, spokesman for MedStar, which supplies the ambulance service for the realm. Numerous others have been handled on the scene and launched, he stated.
The crash occurred about 6 a.m., as many hospital and emergency staff have been heading to and from work, so a few of these concerned have been well being care staff and emergency responders, together with law enforcement officials, officers stated.
“We did see a large number of people that were victims of this accident that were in scrubs, that had hospital IDs on … in some cases, our folks would know those folks,” Zavadsky stated.
Fort Worth police Chief Neil Noakes stated three officers have been en path to work once they have been injured in the crash, and one officer was injured whereas working the scene. He stated all have been launched from the hospital and that none of them suffered severe accidents.
“The roadway was so treacherous from the ice that several of the first responders were falling on the scene,” Zavadsky stated.
Zavadsky stated his crews carry a sand and salt combination in the ambulances, which they used on the scene. At one level, he stated, one of many ambulances was hit, nevertheless it sustained solely minor injury and the crew members have been advantageous.
The ice storm got here as a polar vortex — swirling air that usually sits over the Earth’s poles — has moved close to the U.S.-Canada border, ensuing in colder climate farther south than traditional, stated Steve Goss, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.
“As a result we’re getting unusually or unseasonably cold air that’s spilling south across a good portion of the United States east of the Rocky Mountains,” he stated.
In Tennessee, police responded to about 30 visitors collisions and a few flights have been delayed at Memphis International Airport after freezing rain and sleet fell. In Kentucky, the governor declared a state of emergency to unlock funding and assist companies coordinate as they responded to reviews of slick roads and downed energy strains. And in southern Indiana, faculties and authorities workplaces closed.
In suburban Austin, greater than two dozen automobiles have been concerned in a pileup on an icy freeway, and 5 folks have been taken to a hospital, emergency officers stated.
Goss stated that smaller disturbances transferring by the polar jet stream will convey “a shot of winter weather” into southern parts of the nation.
He stated some areas that don’t usually get snowfall will possible see heavy quantities over the following a number of days. He stated present estimates present some areas of the southern Plains might get a foot or extra.