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Utah dust storm: 20-vehicle pileup kills 7 people on Interstate 15

Seven people were killed when a dust storm led to a series of crashes involving 20 vehicles on a Utah freeway Sunday evening.

The crashes happened just before 5 p.m. on Interstate 15 near Kanosh, the Utah Department of Public Service (DPS) said in a news release.

Authorities noted that there could be more deaths, as several people were taken to hospitals in critical condition.

“It appears that 20 vehicles were involved in Sunday’s crashes after high winds caused a sand or dust storm and impaired visibility on the roadway,” the release said.

Images of the crash site show multiple tractor-trailers and several damaged passenger vehicles littering the road, with debris scattered for yards. At least one vehicle appears to have had its passenger doors ripped off.

DPS closed the road in both directions following the crash.

Kanosh is about halfway between the Salt Lake City area and the state’s southwest corner.

A strong thunderstorm was reported southeast of Kanosh around 4:30 p.m., with high winds occurring as the storm decayed, CNN Meteorologist Gene Norman said. A nearby report of a 51-mph wind gust was recorded.

The crash occurred in a region that is experiencing some of the worst drought conditions in the country, which makes dust storms more likely. The entire state of Utah is in the two most extreme drought categories as of last week, according to the US Drought Monitor.

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Source: Orange County Register

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