About 100 vehicles were involved in a pileup on Interstate 35-West, north of downtown Fort Worth. The likely cause of the accident is ice on the roads, said Michael Drivdahl, spokesman for the Fort Worth Fire Department.
At least five people were killed and 36 injured were transported to local hospitals. Rescue crews were assisting multiple accidents on area roads, Dallas News says.
MedStar Mobile Healthcare spokesman Matt Zavadsky said several people were transported in critical condition, others in serious condition and the rest were still being evaluated.
Due to the nature of the accidents and the number of vehicles involved, Zavadsky said the process of untangling the cars will take several days.
“This is a mess,” he said.
A video posted on Twitter by North Texas storm chaser Jason McLaughlin showed dozens of vehicles piled up in Fort Worth. Several of the cars were crushed in the crash and at least three tractor-trailers were involved.
“It looks like a couple of cars lost control and when that happened, everything piled up behind them,” McLaughlin stated.
All northbound lanes of I-35W, including the toll lanes were closed and traffic was backed up in both directions from I-30 to I-820, Fort Worth police said.
As a result of the pileup, the Fort Worth Police Department set up a family reunification site at a nearby community center for drivers and passengers needing to be picked up. About 30 to 40 people had been transported to the scene by 10:30 a.m., according to the Fire Department.
The Fort Worth Office of Emergency Management said in a tweet that people looking for family members who may have been involved in the crash can contact the reunification center at 1-817-546-7826 for more information.
Multiple crashes in North Texas
Authorities throughout the area reported numerous crashes overnight, some involving serious injuries and damage to city vehicles.
In Dallas, at least one person was killed in a crash around 11:15 p.m. on southbound Interstate 45 at Lamar Street, police said. At about 1:00 am, two more people were killed and a third was seriously injured in another crash along I-45 at Illinois Avenue.
Between midnight and 6:00 am, MedStar had been called to 19 multiple-vehicle crashes, Zavadsky said. The department said it responded to six crashes during a 90-minute period beginning at 4:30 a.m. Thursday.