At least six people are dead and dozen more were injured in a massive buildup on an icy Texas highway that involved more than 130 vehicles Thursday morning, officials said

“This is a major disaster in our city,” said Fort Worth Fire Department spokesman Mike Drivdahl of the ice-related crash

It was dark and cold with freezing rain when first responders arrived after 6 a.m. On Interstate 35, an ambulance officer said

Thirty-six people were taken to hospitals, others later sought treatment, officials said several people were trapped in cars and firefighters used hydraulic rescue equipment to rescue them buses were called in to protect the stranded from the cold

Three Fort Worth police officers on their way to work were injured but not seriously, and many of the victims appeared to be health care workers, officials said

“We saw large numbers of people who were victims of this accident, were in scrubs and had hospital cards,” said Matt Zavadsky, spokesman for MedStar Emergency Services

Video posted on social media shows an articulated truck sliding into traffic at high speed The crash led to others and blew up some vehicles

Fort Worth Police Chief Neil Noakes said Thursday afternoon that 133 vehicles were involved in the accident, but added that it was not a final figure

“At this point in the still very preliminary investigation, ice appears to be a factor,” Noakes said. He said it was a tragic day for the city

Zavadsky, the MedStar spokesman, said three people were in critical condition and that everyone he assessed, treated, or transported were adults

While more than 30 were rushed to hospitals, others later sought medical treatment Zavadsky said 65 people had received medical help in connection with the incident and that number could rise

The buildup occurred when freezing rain and sleet created dangerous driving conditions overnight during the height of the morning commute

Fort Worth was under winter weather advice, according to the National Weather Service. Central and North Texas were under winter weather warnings, warnings, or winter storm guards on Thursday evening

Police in nearby Arlington said they responded to 82 accidents by 9 a.m. in Dallas, three people were killed and another person was hospitalized in critical condition around midnight in two separate collisions, NBC Dallas-Fort Worth reported / p>

The Texas Department of Transportation announced Thursday evening that its thoughts are with the families of everyone involved in accidents across the state

In all winter weather events, “proactive, anticipatory measures such as pre-treating the roads are taken to prevent ice from adhering to the road surface””

“Road conditions can change quickly, and unfortunately, despite proactive measures, the unpredictable and rapidly changing Texas storm can still cause ice to build up,” the department said

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Source: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/70-car-pileup-icy-texas-interstate-leaves-least-five-dead-n1257454