Editor’s note: This story was updated at 7 p.m. ET to include more details about the incident.
At least six people are dead and more than 30 others injured after a dust storm caused a massive pileup on Interstate 55 in Illinois on Monday.
The crashes began around 11 a.m. local time in Montgomery County, about 75 miles northeast of St. Louis, according to the Illinois State Police.
Massive pileup on I-55 south of Springfield, Illinois has closed the interstate for nearly 30 miles. Blowing dust off freshly plowed fields led to very low visibility#ilwx
🎥: Nathan Cormier pic.twitter.com/im7QLE8BTp
— Nick Hausen (@NickHausenWx) May 1, 2023
Illinois State Police Maj. Ryan Starrick told The Associated Press that more than 30 people were transported to hospitals, later adding there were at least six fatalities. In a news release, the Illinois State Police said, “Injuries range from minor to life-threatening, and ages range from 2 years old to 80 years old.”
At least 30 commercial vehicles and 40 to 60 cars were involved, the release states. Two semi-trailers caught fire as a result of the crashes. Images from the scene show burned-out tractor trailers and passenger vehicles.
Interstate 55 in southern Sangamon and northern Montgomery counties remains closed in both directions because of numerous crashes caused by a dust storm, which has greatly reduced visibility. (photo via @wics_abc20) pic.twitter.com/rYbWKndJa6
— IDOT_Illinois (@IDOT_Illinois) May 1, 2023
The cause of the crash is high winds blowing dirt from farm fields across the highway, leading to zero visibility, the release states.
As of 6 p.m. local time, the interstate was still closed in both directions as emergency crews worked the scene.
This is a developing story.