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7 killed in multi-vehicle crash amid sandstorm in southern Utah

At least seven people were killed in southwestern Utah on Sunday in a multi-vehicle crash. Photo courtesy of Utah Department of Public Safety
At least seven people were killed in southwestern Utah on Sunday in a multi-vehicle crash. Photo courtesy of Utah Department of Public Safety

July 26 (UPI) -- Officials in Utah said at least seven people were killed and several others were injured in a multi-vehicle pileup that occurred amid a sandstorm.

The Department of Public Safety said in a statement that high winds caused a sand and dust storm that impaired visibility on Interstate 15 in Millard County near Kenosha in southwestern Utah, resulting in a crash involving at least 20 vehicles.

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"No one could see, so people started stopping, and then you just get a chain reaction," said Trooper Andrew Battenfield, according to The New York Times. "Nobody could see, and then all of a sudden, you're slamming into a car.

"It's just a horrific situation."

Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Cameron Rhoden told KUTV-TV children were among the dead and at least 10 people were injured.

The Utah Department of Public Safety said several people were transported to area hospitals with critical injuries.

Photos of the accident shared by the DPS show debris flung about the highway caused by an accident involving multiple vehicles of various sizes, including transport trucks.

"I can't remember in recent memory of [a crash] being this large, with this many vehicles and this many fatalities," Rhoden said.

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The names of the victims were not released pending notification of relatives, officials said.

The crash caused southbound traffic to be diverted.

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