February 5, 2018 / 8:11 PM / 10 months ago

Winter storm sparks deadly car crashes in U.S. Midwest

(Reuters) - A winter storm plowing through the U.S. Midwest caused several deaths in Iowa and Missouri from car crashes as the weather snarled highways and canceled hundreds of flights at Chicago’s busy airport, according to authorities and local media.

In Iowa, six people died on Monday in crashes throughout the state, including one that left the I-35 highway jammed near Ames, the Des Moines Register reported.

Two people died in southwest Missouri and more than 70 others were injured after icy roads led to a high number of crashes, the Springfield News-Leader reported.

Temperatures fell and snow blasted in across the Midwest, causing the cancellation of more than 460 flights at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, according to the flight tracking website FlightAware.

A winter weather advisory was in place until midnight for much of northern Illinois, according to the National Weather service.

In Iowa, about 30 to 40 vehicles were involved in a crash near Ames that led to the closing of a section of Interstate 35. There was another mass pileup west of Des Moines involving about 20 vehicles, Iowa State Patrol spokesman Sergeant Nathan Ludwig said.

The causes for both pileups were under investigation.

Images from local TV station WHO showed cars and trucks piled up on I-35, a few of which had spun out several yards off the side of the road.

The National Weather Service in Des Moines said snowfall across the state led to hazardous travel conditions.

Reporting by Jon Herskovitz and Chris Kenning in Chicago; Editing by Leslie Adler and Rosalba O'Brien

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