‘Several’ killed, dozens injured as dust storm causes massive car crash in Illinois

More than 80 vehicles were involved in the accident.

A massive dust storm that swept through Illinois on Monday killed several people and injured dozens, officials said.

Illinois State Police Maj. Ryan Starick said during an afternoon press conference that he did not have an official death toll, but said more than 30 people had been taken to hospital.

Authorities said the crash happened around 11 a.m. local time on Interstate 55 in Montgomery County.

Forty to 60 passenger vehicles and at least 20 commercial vehicles were involved in the crash, including two semi-trucks that caught fire, police said.

The cause of the crash was high winds blowing dirt from agricultural fields across the highway, Starrick said.

“It almost looks like snow when I send [my kids] videos,” said Karen Leach, who was caught up in the storm. “And it feels like the end of the world.”

Leach, who was driving an RV from Illinois to Texas, said he was stuck in traffic for five hours.

The portion of I-55 where the crash occurred is expected to be closed until Tuesday afternoon, Starrick said.

Law enforcement is currently conducting a secondary search of the vehicles, but all are initially believed to have been transported from the scene, he said.

“My team and I are closely following the devastating I-55 crash as authorities learn more,” Rep. Nikki Pudzinski said on Twitter. “Please stay safe as this situation continues to unfold.”

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ABC News’ Peter Saralambus contributed to this report.

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