A massive sandstorm in Millard County, Utah, caused major visibility issues on the road. The result was a 20-vehicle collision that also led to seven deaths.
Sandstorm Causes Mayhem
There are also several more people battling critical conditions following the dust storm accident.
“It appears that 20 vehicles were involved in Sunday’s crashes after high winds caused a sand or dust storm and impaired visibility on the roadway. The Utah Highway Patrol summoned troopers from Richfield and Beaver to assist. Multiple ground and air ambulances also responded to transport victims,” the Utah Department of Public Service said in a news release, according to CNN.
It’s unclear just how many people faced injuries from the incident. There are several people in critical condition in hospitals.
Images of the devastating, multi-car crash site flood news sites and social media. Tractor-trailers and other vehicles litter the road. Debris also scatters the area, which has been closed in both directions after the crash.
The crash was caused by an intense period of high winds that reduced visibility quickly and dangerously during the sandstorm.
“We’re stunned and saddened by the horrific accidents in Millard County. We fervently pray for the loved ones of those who perished and for those fighting for their lives,” the Utah Governor Spencer Cox tweeted on Sunday night.
Extreme Temperature Related Deaths
According to The Guardian, there are five million people that die each year globally as a result of excessively hot or cold conditions. More people die due to the cold, however, climate-change experts are finding that heat-related deaths are increasing due to climate change concerns.
These temperature-related deaths have called for better housing insulation as well as things like solar-powered air conditioning. Climate change will continue to impact deaths in the future.
“In the future, cold-related mortality should continue to decrease, but because the heat-related mortality will continue to increase, that means there will be a break point,” Monash University professor Yuming Guo said to the publication.
Climate change has also led to a massive increase in wildfires in the West. According to USA Today, there are more than 22,000 firefighters currently battling fires across the West. Homes are burning to the ground and residents must flee and evacuate to safety.
There are about 88 major wildfires that stretch across 13 states. The most serious ones are the Dixie Fire in Northern California and the Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon. The Bootleg Fire is the largest and has destroyed over 400,000 acres of land.
These wildfires have burned over 1.5 million acres. The ongoing drought combined with extreme temperatures is the reason wildfires are raging and incredibly difficult to put out. Evacuation and state of emergency orders are in place in several counties.