Two dead, 80 hurt in 140-vehicle pile-up in Texas

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 November, 2012, 3:14am

Two people died and more than 80 were hurt when at least 140 vehicles collided on a Texas highway in dense fog, leaving trucks twisted on top of each other and authorities rushing to pull survivors from the wreckage.

"It is catastrophic," Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Deputy Rod Carrol said of Thursday's pile-up. "I've got cars on top of cars."

The Thanksgiving holiday morning crash happened on Interstate 10 about 128 kilometres east of Houston.

Carroll said 80 to 90 people were transported to hospitals, with 10 to 12 of those in serious to critical condition. He said 140 to 150 vehicles were involved in the pile-up.

Carroll said the fog was so thick that officers did not immediately realise they were dealing with multiple accidents.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), a crash on the eastbound side of the highway led to other accidents in a dangerous chain reaction. There were multiple crashes on the other side of the highway as well.

DPS trooper Stephanie Davis told news channel KFDM that two people were killed in an SUV crushed by a tractor trailer.

I-10's eastbound lanes were re-opened on Thursday evening after more than eight hours.

Carroll said uninjured drivers tried to help as authorities sorted through the wreckage. "The foremost thing in this holiday season is how other travellers were helping us [with the] injured," Carroll said.