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DALLAS >> An enormous crash involving greater than 130 automobiles on an icy Texas interstate left six folks lifeless and dozens injured as we speak amid a winter storm that dropped freezing rain, sleet and snow on components of the U.S.

On the scene of the crash on Interstate 35 close to downtown Fort Value, a tangle of semitrailers, automobiles and vehicles had smashed into one another and had turned each which method, with some automobiles on prime of others.

“There have been a number of those that had been trapped inside the confines of their automobiles and requiring using hydraulic rescue gear to efficiently extricate them,” mentioned Fort Value Hearth Chief Jim Davis.

Not less than 65 folks had been handled at hospitals, with 36 of them taken by ambulance from the crash web site, together with three with vital accidents, mentioned Matt Zavadsky, spokesman for MedStar, which offers the ambulance service for the world. Quite a few others had been handled on the scene and launched, he mentioned.

The crash occurred about 6 a.m., as many hospital and emergency employees had been heading to and from work, so a few of these concerned had been well being care employees and emergency responders, together with law enforcement officials, officers mentioned.

“We did see a lot of those that had been victims of this accident that had been in scrubs, that had hospital IDs on … in some instances, our people would know these people,” Zavadsky mentioned.

Fort Value police Chief Neil Noakes mentioned three officers had been en path to work after they had been injured within the crash, and one officer was injured whereas working the scene. He mentioned all have been launched from the hospital and that none of them suffered severe accidents.

“The roadway was so treacherous from the ice that a number of of the primary responders had been falling on the scene,” Zavadsky mentioned.

Zavadsky mentioned his crews carry a sand and salt combination within the ambulances, which they used on the scene. At one level, he mentioned, one of many ambulances was hit, however it sustained solely minor injury and the crew members had been superb.

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, leading to colder climate farther south than regular, mentioned Steve Goss, a meteorologist with the Nationwide Climate Service’s Storm Prediction Middle in Norman, Oklahoma.

“Consequently we’re getting unusually or unseasonably chilly air that’s spilling south throughout an excellent portion of the USA east of the Rocky Mountains,” he mentioned.

In Tennessee, police responded to about 30 site visitors collisions and a few flights had been delayed at Memphis Worldwide Airport after freezing rain and sleet fell. In Kentucky, the governor declared a state of emergency to liberate funding and assist companies coordinate as they responded to reviews of slick roads and downed energy strains. And in southern Indiana, colleges and authorities places of work closed.

In suburban Austin, greater than two dozen automobiles had been concerned in a pileup on an icy freeway, and 5 folks had been taken to a hospital, emergency officers mentioned.

Goss mentioned that smaller disturbances transferring by way of the polar jet stream will deliver “a shot of winter climate” into southern parts of the nation.

He mentioned some areas that don’t usually get snowfall will possible see heavy quantities over the subsequent a number of days. He mentioned present estimates present some areas of the southern Plains may get a foot or extra.

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