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Blinding Dust Storm In Illinois Leads To ‘Multiple Fatalities,’ Dozens Hospitalized After Highway Pileups


CREDIT: WICS

DIVERNON, IL. – According to the police, a windstorm in south-central Illinois on Monday produced hazardous clouds of dust from nearby farm fields, leading to severe car crashes and “multiple fatalities” on Interstate 55.

The crashes occurred in the late morning and involved up to 60 cars, as well as several tractor-trailers, two of which caught fire. The Illinois State Police closed down the highway in both directions in Montgomery County, approximately 75 miles north of St. Louis.

During a news conference, Illinois State Police Maj. Ryan Starrick stated that the crashes were due to excessive winds carrying dirt from freshly plowed farm fields, which made it difficult to see for drivers on the highway.

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Although Starrick did not give an exact number of fatalities, he mentioned that there were several, and more information would be released later.

According to the National Weather Service, winds were gusting between 35 mph and 45 mph at the time.

Following the crashes, over 30 people were taken to hospitals with injuries, which occurred in both the northbound and southbound lanes.

Starrick also stated that the closure of I-55 would continue until late Tuesday morning or early afternoon. The Auburn Travel Center in Divernon has been set up as a place for travelers to reunite.

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