BEAUMONT, Texas — Two people died and more than 80 were hurt Thursday when at least 140 vehicles collided in Southeast Texas in a pileup that left trucks twisted on top of one another and authorities rushing to pull survivors from the miles of wreckage.
The collision occurred in foggy conditions at about 8:45 a.m. Thursday on Interstate 10 southwest of Beaumont, a Gulf Coast city about 80 miles east of Houston.
Jefferson County sheriff’s Deputy Rod Carroll said in a news release that 80 to 90 people had been taken to area hospitals with 10 to 12 in serious to critical condition.
A crash on the eastbound side of the highway led to other accidents. There were multiple crashes on the other side, as well.
Carroll said the fog was so thick that deputies did not immediately realize they were dealing with multiple accidents.
‘‘It is catastrophic,’’ he said. ‘‘I’ve got cars on top of cars.’’
I-10’s eastbound lanes were reopened Thursday night after more than eight hours.
Trooper Stephanie Davis of the Texas Department of Public Safety told KFDM-TV that two people in a sport utility vehicle died after the crash.
Carroll said uninjured drivers tried to help.
‘‘Other travelers were helping us when we were overwhelmed, sitting and holding, putting pressure on people that were injured,’’ he said.