A crash involving dozens of vehicles on Pennsylvania’s Interstate 81 highway killed at least three people and forced more than a dozen to rush to area hospitals on Monday, as reported by the authorities.

Schuylkill County Coroner Dr. David J. Moylan reported that three fatalities have been confirmed so far. He said that the search at the scene had not been completed because the vehicles continued to burn. “I suspect it could be a higher number,” she added.

The Schuylkill County Office of Emergency Management said The crash in northeastern Pennsylvania occurred around 10:30 a.m. Monday. John Blickley, deputy coordinator for the emergency management agency, said authorities believe a snowstorm clouded visibility and likely contributed to the crash.

According to estimates by the emergency agency and the state police, the number of vehicles involved in the accident was between 40 and 60, including several cargo trucks. Blickley said rescue personnel from four counties transported about 20 patients to area hospitals for treatment. When the emergency team arrived, there was three tractor-trailers and some smaller vehicles on fire, he said.

State Trooper David Beohm said Monday afternoon that police had not yet been able to investigate why several crashed cars and trucks were still burning.

“We can’t do anything as long as there is a fire going on,” he said. Fire units at the scene included the presence of a constant stream of tanker trucks because “in the middle of nowhere, you have to bring your own water…there’s not a fire hydrant anywhere here.”

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