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At least 2 dead, 120 hurt in 150 vehicle pileup in Texas

7:35 PM, Nov 22, 2012   |    comments
At least two people were killed and 120 hurt in a 100 car pile up on I-10 near Beaumont, Texas Thursday morning (CNN)
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BEAUMONT, TX (CNN) -- At least two people were killed and as many as 120 people injured in Thanksgiving pileups involving an estimated 100 to 150 cars on a foggy stretch of highway in southeast Texas, authorities said.

Officers first received a call at midmorning Thursday indicating that there were multiple cars involved on a wreck on the eastbound lanes of Interstate 10 southwest of Beaumont in Jefferson County.

"Initial reports at the time of the crash indicated there was dense fog, which could be a contributing factor to those crashes," Texas Highway Patrol Trooper Stephanie Davis said.

The two fatalities occurred in the same vehicle, Davis said, and the victims were a male and a female. Authorities did not release identities pending notification of the victims' families.

Video from CNN affiliate KBMT showed badly mangled vehicles atop one another and people who appeared to be injured stretched out in grass alongside the highway and on ambulance gurneys. Long lines of cars, each battered and some appearing to be totaled, lined the roadway. The vehicles included cars, minivans, pickups, tractor-trailer trucks and at least one FedEx truck.

In several pictures, there appeared to be a slight sheen of fog.

It was not known exactly how many injuries resulted from the accidents, said Davis.

Jefferson County Deputy Sheriff Rod Carroll said that at least 80 and as many as 120 injured people were taken from the scene. The most seriously injured were being transported to Houston, about 75 miles away.

Several victims were transported to neighboring hospitals in Beaumont and Port Arthur.

Davis did not know whether all the crashes occurred at once or if they occurred over a protracted amount of time. "All I can say there was an initial crash and then chain reaction crashes from that," she said.

The role of fog and the causes of the accidents were still under investigation, Davis said.

The eastbound lanes of I-10 in that area were to remain closed for the eight to 10 hours, authorities said. The westbound lanes were open as of Thursday afternoon.

"We are still estimating at least eight hours to open the interstate because we have so much debris on the road that we have to clear," Davis said at midafternoon.


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