Six dead after dust storm causes multi-vehicle collision in Montana

At least six people have been killed after a dust storm caused a 21-vehicle pileup in Montana.

High winds kicked up dust and left drivers with “zero visibility” before the “mass crash” on Friday afternoon.

Gusts of 60 mph were recorded while piling on the Interstate 90 freeway near Hardin, a town in the south of the state.

The number of people injured in the incident is unclear, but a highway patrol official said additional ambulances had to be called from another town to help.

Cars could be seen crushed in a grassy ditch off the highway as emergency services attended the scene on Friday afternoon.

Dozens of other vehicles were saved along Interstate 90.

The crash happened as the area was gripped by fast winds

(AP)

The crash was reported to highway patrol at 4:28 p.m. local time on Friday.

Minutes after the crash, nearby Big Horn Country Airport recorded wind speeds of up to 62mph – up from 40mph less than a quarter of an hour earlier.

The wind picked up the dust easily, a product of the recent scorching temperatures last week.

The crash happened near Hardin, Montana

(AP)

“It looks like there were high winds, causing a dust storm with zero visibility,” said Jay Nelson of the Montana Highway Patrol.

Visibility is believed to have fallen to less than 400 meters in the poor weather conditions on Friday.

Montana Governor Greg Gianforte said he was “deeply saddened” by the news of the “mass accident”.

“Please join me in prayer to lift the victims and their loved ones. We are grateful to our first responders for their service,” he added.

Additional reporting by Associated Press