(Adds crash, treatment details)
CHICAGO Jan 23 At least three people were
killed and more than 20 injured in multiple crashes involving
nearly four dozen vehicles Thursday afternoon along an
ice-slicked interstate highway in northwest Indiana, officials
Forty-six vehicles, including 17 tractor-trailers and two
other trucks, crashed in icy conditions, shutting down eastbound
Interstate 94 near Michigan City, Indiana, likely until early on
Friday morning, Indiana State Police spokeswoman Ann Wojas said.
Snow fall had reduced visiblity to the point of "whiteout
conditions" along the stretch of highway, Wojas said.
Firefighters working hours after the crash were able to pull
another injured person from a vehicle and were focusing on
clearing the wreckage and searching for other casualties, Wojas
LaPorte County Coroner John Sullivan described the scene as
"grim" during an interview on the Chicago-area ABC TV station.
One critically injured patient among 13 transported to
Franciscan St. Anthony Health facility in Michigan City had died
and the other 12 suffered moderate and minor injuries, ABC
Six people were in stable condition at Indiana University
Health LaPorte Hospital in LaPorte following the crash,
according to a hospital official. Only one was admitted for
treatment. The others were being released.
State police said in their statement that two Michigan City
buses were used to transport injured motorists and passengers to
area hospitals and a warming station.
Michigan City is about 58 miles (93 km) east of Chicago.
(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski, Brendan O'Brien, and Eric M.
Johnson; Editing by Cynthia Johnston, Gunna Dickson, Eric Walsh
and Ken Wills)