Vantage, Washington, was the site of a massive chain-reaction accident Thursday after dust and ash from the recent wildfires caused more than 20 vehicles to crash into each other on Interstate 90.
The eastbound stretch of I-90 near Vantage remained closed until Friday morning while authorities and emergency personnel untangled the cars, the Seattle Times reported
. The westbound portion of the freeway reopened Thursday afternoon, several hours after Washington State Patrol officers first responded to the scene around 11 a.m.
"Our crews are going to reassess in the morning, just to see how the visibility is," Meagan Lott, spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation, told the Times Thursday night. "Winds are supposed to get up to about 45 mph; we're just hoping that those gusts die down by tomorrow."
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Eleven people were injured in the Vantage accident, according to King5.com
Emergency personnel transported those people to nearby Quincy Valley Medical Center in Grant. The Times noted that eight of them were treated and released, while another was transferred to a different medical facility.
"We saw a lot of lacerations, some bone fractures, and bumps and bruises," Quincy Valley Medical Center spokeswoman Michelle Wurl told the Yakima Herald
Washington State Patrol officers told the Spokesman-Review
that the accident, thought to be caused by poor visibility from the nearby wildfires, included 15 cars and nine tractor-trailers.
More than 700 firefighters are currently battling wildfires in central Washington
, which have been burning out of control since last week. The blazes have destroyed thousands of acres in the areas between Seattle and Spokane.
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