At least five people have died and 60 have been injured in a horror crash involving trucks, cars and a tour bus.
Disturbing pictures from the scene at Pennsylvania Turnpike in the US show a coach turned onto its side and a number of badly damaged other vehicles.
It is not clear at this stage what caused the accident that occurred at around 3.30am but investigators have now closed the road for 86 miles.
Turnpike spokesman Carl DeFebo said the tour flipped on its side during the crash.
Victims range in age from seven to 52 and it is believed that at least nine are under 18 years old, according to Excela Health spokeswoman Robin Jennings.
The 60 injured people have been transported to three area hospitals in Westmoreland County, according to Fox News.
Eleven victims were taken to Forbes Hospital in Monroeville, Trib Live reports.
One is in critical condition and the others are in fair condition, a hospital spokeswoman said.
An Excela Health spokesperson confirmed that Frick Hospital in Mount Pleasant is treating 25 patients, WTAE reports.
The Turnpike has been closed in both directions for 86 miles between Exit 75 in New Stanton and Exit 161 in Breezewood.
Numerous ambulance companies from Westmoreland, Fayette and Somerset counties sent units to transport the victims, following the protocol for a “mass casualty incident,” Westmoreland County Public Safety Director Bud Mertz said.
About 60 patients have been transported to three area hospitals in Westmoreland County due to multi-vehicle crash on @PA_Turnpike at milepost 86 westbound. Coroner has confirmed five fatalities. An 86-mile stretch of Turnpike still closed from New Stanton to Breezewood exits.
— Carl DeFebo (@cdefebo) January 5, 2020
Mr DeFebo said it was “premature” to say if the weather was a factor in the crash.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is sending investigators to the crash scene, WPXI reported.
Angela Maynard, a tractor-trailer driver from Kentucky, said she was travelling eastbound when she and her driving partner witnessed the scene.
“I looked up at that hill there, and I could see lights. It looked like a lot of them,” said the woman, who called 911.
“There was no fire, just a lot of smoke at that point.”
She and her co-driver got out of the truck to see if anyone was hurt.
She could see one person lying on the ground and another trapped in their truck.
“It was horrible,” she said. “I was trying to make sure everyone was OK.
“I walked toward the scene and saw one of the truck drivers laying near the barrier. I tried to keep him occupied, keep talking, until medical help arrived. He was in bad shape. He was floating in and out of consciousness.”
She also noted that the roadway was wet from snow but not particularly icy.
source : mirror.co.uk