6 dead in Missouri interstate pileup involving 47 vehicles, official says

By Amir Vera, Raja Razek and Andy Rose, CNN

(CNN) -- A 47-car pileup on Interstate 57 in southeastern Missouri left six people dead and closed the highway in both directions Thursday.

Photos from the scene show several tractor-trailers scattered along I-57, both on the road and in the median of the highway. The contents of the trucks -- some pink material, others white -- are also seen strewn on the road as crews surround the area.

"I've never seen a crash like this," Sgt. Jeff Kinder said in an interview with CNN affiliate KFVS-TV. "The expanse of the crash, it took up about a half-mile of the interstate."

Mississippi County Coroner Terry Parker told CNN the names of the victims have not been released.

"We're going through the identification process, and then notification of families," Parker said.

I-57 is closed in both directions from Interstate 55 to the Illinois state line, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation.

"Both directions are closed and there is a large-scale cleanup underway as well as continuing major-crash fatality scene investigation," the Missouri Department of Public Safety tweeted.

The coroner said they do not expect the number of fatalities to grow. "The recovery stage is over," according to Parker.

Kinder says the investigation into the cause of the accident is ongoing, but it is believed that foggy conditions contributed to the crash.

The crashes happened near the city of Charleston, near the state's border with Missouri along the Mississippi River.

The-CNN-Wire
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