Six Confirmed Dead in Rural Illinois Dust Storm

Wind gusts up to 45 mph across farm fields in rural Illinois caused a multiple car pile up resulting in six confirmed fatalities and at least 30 transports to hospitals.

“It’s been very dry across this area really for the last three weeks,” NWS meteorologist Chuck Schaffer said. “The farmers are out there tilling their fields and planting. The top layer of soil is quite loose.”

Traffic on Interstate 55 was shut down in both directions for nearly 30 miles. The pileup took place just before 11 a.m. Central Time.

Montgomery County officials said 10 helicopters were called to the scene in addition to a hazardous materials team to suppress fires, including a power-tool battery blaze on a semitrailer.

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