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At least 6 killed in Fort Worth, Texas, pileup in icy weather

At least 6 killed in Fort Worth, Texas, pileup in icy weather
The multiple vehicle accident at 1601 N. Freeway is shown. Photo courtesy of Fort Worth Fire Department/Twitter

Feb. 11 (UPI) -- A pileup of some 133 vehicles Thursday in Fort Worth, Texas, killed six people and injured 65 others, local first responders said, blaming the series of crashes on winter weather.

The crash took place shortly after 6 a.m. on southbound Interstate 35W. The scene stretched for about half a mile.

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Fort Worth Fire Department Chief Jim Davis told reporters that ambulances transported 36 people to hospitals for treatment. Another 29 later sought treatment on their own, and officials expect the number of injured to increase as adrenaline from the crash wears off.

MedStar spokesman Matt Zavadsky said three people were determined to have critical injuries on the scene. Those who were uninjured or had less-serious injuries were kept in warming buses to await transport away from the scene as first responders worked through the scene.

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Zavadsky said 13 ambulances were on scene to transport the injured.

Speaking during an evening news conference, Davis said first responders used hydraulic rescue equipment to extricate some motorists from their vehicles. The unusually cold weather for the region slowed down the process.

Fort Worth Police Chief Neil Noakes said four officers were injured -- three en route to work and one at the scene. He said the slippery road caused minor injuries among first responders.

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"It appears ice was a factor" in the cause of the crash, which was under investigation, Noakes said.

"This is a tragic day for the Fort Worth family overall, but as we always do, we will get through this."

Officials said no children were in any of the vehicles, likely due to the fact that most of the vehicles were either tractor trailers or held drivers en route to work.

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Fort Worth firefighters, police and MedStar emergency medical service responded to the scene at 6:15 a.m., Fort Worth Emergency Management said in a 10:15 a.m. update on Twitter.

The FWPD added in another tweet that 3700 E. Belknap (Riverside Center) was a family reunification location for families to pick up and meet people involved in the I-35 pileup.

Segura said around 10:20 a.m. during a press conference that first responders, firefighters and MedStar medics were attending to the victims.

By 10:30 a.m., most people had been rescued, but vehicles still needed to be removed off the highway.

The I-35 pileup was among multiple accidents across Dallas-Fort Worth early Thursday.

At least three other people died in other highway crashes after a the cold front overnight impacted driving conditions across North Texas, authorities said, Denton Record-Chronicle reported.

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