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At least 7 killed in crashes caused by sandstorm on Utah interstate

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Posted at 6:45 AM, Jul 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-26 09:51:56-04

MILLARD COUNTY, Utah — Several people were killed in multiple car crashes in Utah that authorities believe were caused by a sandstorm on Sunday.

Interstate 15 was closed in both directions as a result of the deadly crashes in Millard County.

Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) said strong winds created a dust storm, which led to impaired visibility and "a series of crashes" with about 20 vehicles — including semitrailers — involved. The incident happened between 4:30 and 5 p.m. between Kanosh and Meadow.

At the latest update, UHP said at least seven people had died, and there may be more. Several others were taken to hospitals in critical condition.

The Utah Department of Transportation initially estimated that the interstate closure would last about three hours after the crash, but later updated that to five hours.

The victims' names have not been released. Troopers say they will do so at least 24 hours after their next of kin have been notified.

"We’re stunned and saddened by the horrific accidents in Millard County," Gov. Spencer Cox tweeted Sunday night. "We fervently pray for the loved ones of those who perished and for those fighting for their lives."

This story was originally published by Spencer Burt at KSTU.