Two killed, dozens injured in 40-car pile-up near New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:38pm EST

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NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - A 40-car pile-up near New Orleans in an area that has been blanketed by fog in recent mornings killed two men and injured dozens of other people on Thursday, tying up traffic for hours, police said.

The early morning chain-reaction crash took place on Interstate 10 just east of New Orleans, killing a 54-year-old man who was a passenger in a truck and the driver of another truck, police spokesman Officer Garry Flot said.

Both men, residents of Louisiana, died on the scene but were not immediately identified. Another 25 people were transported to a hospital with injuries ranging from minor to critical, while 37 more declined treatment, Flot said.

The injured included a New Orleans firefighter who sustained a small cut to his face while assisting in the incident.

Flot said the pile-up occurred at about 4 a.m. on Thursday, closing the interstate in both directions for more than 10 hours. By late afternoon, eastbound traffic had resumed but westbound lanes remained closed.

The cause of the accident has not been determined, but morning fog has blanketed the area in recent days. An investigation was ongoing, Flot said.

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston)

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