Up to 20 vehicles are involved in pile-up on an interstate in Pennsylvania

Three people have been confirmed dead following a 20-plus-vehicle pile-up on a Pennsylvania interstate, officials said Monday.

A mass casualty event was declared following the crash on I-81 in Schuykill County on Monday morning.

The crash was reported just before 11 am near Exit 116 of the icy interstate. The road has been reopened since, just under two hours after the crash was reported.

Shortly after the accident was reported, Matt Catrillo, a journalist at a local radio station, tweeted that multiple vehicles were still on fire and people trapped.

Hours later, around 1 pm, officials on the scene reported that all rescue operations following the crash had been completed, sans one active entrapment, which has yet to be resolved.

Responding rescue officials said that following the crash, emergency workers walked nearly six miles of icy, snow-covered highway to free motorists from their vehicles – many of which were on fire.

The crash’s cause is currently unknown, but the area had experiencing severe snow conditions at the time of the crash, and motorists seen in footage recorded at the scene of the crash can be heard complaining of the dangerous weather, which left driver’s with virtually no visibility .

Shocking video captured from the scene of the crash shows multiple trucks and cars smashing into a heap of damaged vehicles already blocking the road, due to snowy conditions hindering drivers’ vision.

Three people were killed when 20 vehicles were involved in a pile-up on a Pennsylvania interstate, officials say

The pile of twisted metal, combined with conditions of low-visibility and poor traction caused by the weather, the footage shows, sets off a chain reaction of crashes over the course of several minutes, ensnaring several trucks and cars

The pile of twisted metal, combined with conditions of low-visibility and poor traction caused by the weather, the footage shows, sets off a chain reaction of crashes over the course of several minutes, ensnaring several trucks and cars

The pile of twisted metal, combined with conditions of low-visibility and poor traction caused by the weather, the footage shows, sets off a chain reaction of crashes over the course of several minutes, ensuring several trucks and more than a dozen cars.

At one point in the footage, while cars are being propelled along the ice from the force of several collisions, a person is almost struck by his own car after it is hit by another vehicle sent reeling during the chaos.

The cars narrowly miss the driver, who flees along with several others into the woods flanking the highway.

‘This is ridiculous,’ said Mike Moye, who filmed the clip on Facebook Live after coming across the crash.

‘It’s snow and fog mixed together, and it made the visibility down to zero,’ the motorist said of the hazardous conditions that likely spurred the accident.

‘S – t’s on fire,’ Moye said of the burning wreckage. ‘I need to get the f ** king off the road. Damn, this is crazy. ‘

Footage of the crash shows several trucks and cars strewn along the snow-covered highway as smoke billows into the sky

Footage of the crash shows several trucks and cars strewn along the snow-covered highway as smoke billows into the sky

It currently is unclear what what caused to the crash - however, there had been snow in the area, with central and south-central parts of the state seeing snow squall warnings earlier in the day

It currently is unclear what what caused to the crash – however, there had been snow in the area, with central and south-central parts of the state seeing snow squall warnings earlier in the day

Further footage of the wreckage shows several trucks and cars strewn along the snow-covered highway as smoke billows into the sky.

Emergency responders at the scene confirmed reports of fire at the crash site, and that multiple trucks were part of the pile-up. It is still not clear exactly how many vehicles were involved in the crash.

Numerous aircraft have been called to the nearby Schuylkill County Airport in response to the incident, local outlets reported, to airlift survivors from the wreckage.

Apart from officials’ mass casualty declaration, there has not yet been word on the exact death toll in relation to the crash or the number of those injured.

The crash closed down all lanes between three exits of the roadway, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said on Twitter.

All lanes of traffic were shut down in the area for nearly two hours. The road – currently enveloped in ice – serves as a common route for cross-country truckers heading north to Canada or returning to the US.

During that span, the crash reportedly caused traffic on the busy roadway to back up for nearly six miles.

The highway’s northbound lanes are still shutdown at mile marker 107, local outlet WKOK reported, while the road’s southbound section is shut down at mile marker 124.

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It currently is unclear what what caused to the crash – however, there had been snow in the area, with central and south-central parts of the state seeing snow squall warnings earlier in the day.

Less than an hour before the crash was reported, the official Twitter page of the Pennsylvania Turnpike tweeted a message to motorists warning them of the squalls and how they can render a driver’s eyesight hopelessly hampered.

‘Snow squalls are expected across parts of the PA Turnpike in western, central and northern Pennsylvania today,’ the account tweeted, adding that ‘squalls can reduce visibility to near zero in a matter of seconds.

‘If driving, stay alert and slow down if you encounter rapidly changing conditions,’ it warned.

Emergency responders from Northumberland County were still on scene as of 2 pm ET, local outlets reported, combing the wreckage and aiding and surviving motorists.

This is a developing story; please check back for updates.

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