Cars and trucks are piled on Interstate 10 in Southeast Texas Thursday Nov. 22, 2012. (Photo: AP)
(TheBlaze/AP) -- Two people died and dozens were hurt Thursday when at least 100 vehicles collided in Southeast Texas in a pileup that left trucks twisted on top of each other and authorities rushing to pull survivors from the wreckage.
The collision occurred in extremely foggy conditions at about 8 a.m. Thanksgiving Day on Interstate 10 southwest of Beaumont, a Gulf Coast city about 80 miles east of Houston.
A man and a woman were killed in a Chevy Suburban SUV crushed by a tractor trailer, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) told KFDM-TV.
Families walks from the massive pile-up accident on Interstate 10 in Southeast Texas Thursday Nov. 22, 2012. (Photo: AP)
Officials at Acadian Ambulance service said at least 51 people have been taken to area hospitals and at least eight are critically hurt.
It wasn't immediately clear how the pileup began, but According to DPS a crash on the eastbound side of the highway led to other accidents in a dangerous chain reaction. There were multiple crashes on the other side of the highway as well.
Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Deputy Rod Carroll told The Associated Press the fog was so thick, the deputies didn't immediately realize they were dealing with multiple accidents.
An emergency worker walks past a pile of cars from the accident on Interstate in Southeast Texas Thursday Nov. 22, 2012. (Photo: AP)
"It is catastrophic," Carroll said. "I've got cars on top of cars."
DPS trooper Stephanie Davis told KFDM that at least 100 cars and trucks were involved in the accident, and that firefighters had to cut people out of the wreckage during the more than 8 hours that the eastbound lanes were shut down.
She added that uninjured drivers tried to help as authorities responded to the unexpected crisis.
Emergency workers carry a victim across the Interstate 10 median after a massive auto accident in Southeast Texas on Thursday Nov. 22, 2012. (Photo: AP)
"It's just people helping people," Carroll said. "The foremost thing in this holiday season is how other travelers were helping us when we were overwhelmed, sitting and holding, putting pressure on people that were injured."
The Associated Press has more: