At least 133 vehicles were involved in a massive pileup crash Thursday morning on Interstate 35W in Fort Worth, including several 18-wheelers, officials said.
At least six people have been confirmed dead. The total number of injuries remains unknown, Fort Worth police said at least 36 were taken from the scene to local hospitals.
Preliminary information on MCI in Fort Worth. More info will be released later. At least 100 vehicles involved, 5 fatalities, 36 transported to local hospitals. #yourFWFD continues to work the incident and will be on scene for several hours. pic.twitter.com/DUtRJFKSI9
— Fort Worth Fire Department (@FortWorthFire) February 11, 2021
The crash took place shortly after 6 a.m. on southbound Interstate 35W. The scene stretched for about half a mile.
“It appears ice was a factor” in the cause of the crash, which was under investigation, Noakes said.
Numerous video’s taken by passing motorists shows several vehicles, unable to come to a stop, crashing into each other with loud thuds.
The first calls began coming in between 6 a.m. and 6:30 a.m., Zavadsky said.
The Fort Worth Fire Department quickly labeled the event an MCI or multiple casualty incidents. The crash occurred in the express lanes, in the median of I-35W. Robert Hinkle, the spokesman for North Tarrant Express, said NTE & NTE35W crews were assisting emergency responders in managing the accident scene.
“This is an incident our agencies train for but hope and pray never happens,” said Zavadsky. “That mutual relationship and that training (among the various departments) served this community very, very well.”
“It was dark, it was cold, it was freezing rain, and the fact that these departments were able to get as many people off this scene to area hospitals, to areas to be protected, was amazing,” he said.
“And that’s one of the things we worry about with the first responders. Part of what we’re doing here currently is making sure we have medical personnel here for the first responders because this is a very difficult environment to be working in. We want to make sure they are safe, that they’re not experiencing hypothermia,” he said. “We were very fortunate to be able to get a couple of buses from the Fire Department to actually put some of the victims from the crash who were not patients but who could have become patients because of hypothermia so they could get out of the cold environment.”
“The roadway was so treacherous from the ice that several of the first responders were falling on the scene,” Zavadsky said.
“This is a tragic day for the Fort Worth family overall, but as we always do, we will get through this.”
“My heart is breaking for our community as we come to learn about the extent of the losses we are experiencing from today’s accident. Our community is pouring out support, and I know that so many of you are asking for a way to help,” Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price tweeted. “Right now, what Fort Worth needs most is your prayers — for the families, the injured, and the first responders.”
My heart has been in my stomach all day.
I spoke today to the driver of this car; she’s okay. Her story is just unbelievable.
At least 6 people lost their lives in this horrific pileup in Fort Worth today. I cannot underscore how much my heart is hurting for our community. pic.twitter.com/IFIlNe4GkH
— Lauren Zakalik (@wfaalauren) February 11, 2021
Officials said no children were in any of the vehicles, likely because most of the vehicles were either tractor-trailers or held drivers en route to work.