Dozens of vehicles collide in Illinois dust storm, at least 6 dead
China News Agency, New York, May 1 (Xinhua) On May 1 local time, severe dust storms in Illinois, USA caused dozens of vehicles to have a series of car accidents, killing at least 6 people.
Police said the crash occurred on Interstate 55 in the central part of the state. In the morning, the dust storm with farmland dust caused the visibility of the relevant road section to be almost zero. A total of about 30 commercial vehicles and 40 to 60 passenger vehicles collided, and two of them caught fire. At least six people were killed in the accident, and more than 30 others were taken to hospital with injuries.
According to the Associated Press, the driver who experienced the accident, Tom Thomas, described his feelings after his car was hit, saying, “After we were hit, the only thing we could hear was the sound of crash after crash behind us.” At present, the road where the incident occurred is still closed. The Illinois Department of Transportation urged people in affected areas to stay home until the storm is over.
Dust storms are more common in the southwestern U.S. and less common in central Illinois, the National Weather Service said. When the dust storm occurred in Illinois, the maximum wind speed exceeded 70 km/h, which greatly affected the visibility on the road.
Illinois Governor Pritzker issued a statement on the same day saying that he is closely monitoring the “terrible” situation on Interstate 55 and will continue to communicate with relevant departments. The state’s emergency management team is currently clearing roads and providing support and services to those affected.