SCHUYLKILL COUNTY, Pa. – Between 50 and 60 vehicles were involved in a crash on Interstate 81 in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, late Monday morning after a snow squall moved through the area and dropped visibility. According to Pennsylvania State Police, six people were killed in the crash.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reported the crash took place on the northbound side of I-81 between exits 116 and 119 near the town of Minersville, which is about 50 miles to the northeast of the state capital of Harrisburg.
Pennsylvania State Police said 24 people were injured from the crash and were transported to four different hospitals in the area, but the severity of their injuries is currently unknown.
John Blickley, the deputy emergency management coordinator for Schuylkill County, said others were taken by bus from the scene to the Wegman’s Distribution
Photos and video shared on social media showed that visibility was extremely poor at the time of the crash due to a heavy snow squall around 10:45 a.m. Monday morning.
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According to WOLF FOX 56, Pennsylvania State Police reported a tanker truck caught fire during the pileup.
Highway message boards were directing traffic on I-81 coming from west of Harrisburg to use U.S. Route 22/322 northbound to avoid the portion of shutdown interstate. Traffic on I-81 coming from east of Harrisburg was being directed to use I-78 eastbound to State Highway 61 northbound. Traffic coming from the Lehigh Valley on I-78 westbound was being directed to use State Route 309 northbound.
The portion of I-81 northbound where the crash took place remained closed through Tuesday but eventually reopened just after midnight Wednesday morning.
WOLF FOX 56 reported that the American Red Cross has responded to provide resources and assistance to the motorists involved in the crash.
In coordination with local officials and emergency responders, Red Cross Disaster Action Team members will establish a reception center and provide a warm, safe central hub for motorists and their families to receive information, blankets, food and drinks, according to WOLF FOX 56.