FOSTER TOWNSHIP, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A Schuylkill County deputy coroner said as of 4:40 p.m. Monday, three people were killed during a 50 to 60-car pile-up that occurred around 10:30 a.m. on Interstate 81.
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As of Wednesday morning, I-81 northbound has reopened between mile markers 107 to 119. According to county dispatch, the road has been repaired and a closing should not be needed again in the near future.
The crash happened on I-81 north near the Hegins exit as a snow squall moved through the area.
As of 5:00 p.m., it was still an active crash scene. Smoke could be seen billowing from some of the wreckage. Eyewitness News was set up on Route 901 at the Minersville exit overlooking Interstate 81. State Troopers say more than 50 vehicles were involved. Police say it was all caused by a heavy snow squall that led to whiteout conditions and slick roads.
Police say more than 24 people were taken to four different area hospitals for treatment. Some by ambulance and some via helicopter. The people who were not injured were taken to the Wegman’s Distribution Center in the nearby Highbridge Business Park and then taken to the Goodwill Fire Company in Minersville to be reunited with family members.
Eyewitness News spoke to a young woman who was involved in the crash.
“I couldn’t see anything I was just hearing banging around me. Then I heard a really loud boom that’s when black smoke came up from the tanker truck that blew up, that’s when I knew it was really bad,” said Lillie Weaver, Hershey.
State police forensic services, cars unite and Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program units are assisting in the investigation and are expected to release more information.
This is a developing story and Eyewitness News will continue to update you as information as it becomes available.