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Massive pileup shuts I-10 in Texas; 2 dead

Cars and Trucks are piled on Interstate 10 in Southeast Texas Thursday Nov. 22, 2012. The Texas Department of Public Safety says at least 35 people have been injured in a more than 50-vehicle pileup. (AP Photo/The Beaumont Enterprise, Guiseppe Barranco) Mandatory Credit

Cars and Trucks are piled on Interstate 10 in Southeast Texas Thursday Nov. 22, 2012. The Texas Department of Public Safety says at least 35 people have been injured in a more than 50-vehicle pileup. (AP Photo/The Beaumont Enterprise, Guiseppe Barranco) Mandatory Credit

An emergency worker walks past a pile of cars from the accident on Interstate in Southeast Texas Thursday Nov. 22, 2012. The Texas Department of Public Safety says at least 35 people have been injured in a more than 50-vehicle pileup. (AP Photo/The Beaumont Enterprise, Guiseppe Barranco)

Emergency workers carry a victim across the Interstate 10 median after a massive auto accidentin Southeast Texas Thursday Nov. 22, 2012. The Texas Department of Public Safety says at least 35 people have been injured in a more than 50-vehicle pileup. (AP Photo/The Beaumont Enterprise, Guiseppe Barranco)

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BEAUMONT, Texas (AP) — Two people died and more than 80 people 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 8:45 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 told KFDM-TV.

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 Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Rod Carroll told The Associated Press the fog was so thick that deputies didn’t immediately realize they were dealing with multiple accidents.

“It is catastrophic,” Carroll said. “I’ve got cars on top of cars.”

I-10′s eastbound lanes were expected to remain closed for most of Thursday.

Texas Department of Public Safety trooper Stephanie Davis told KFDM that two people in an SUV died after the crash. She said at least 100 cars and trucks were involved in the accident.

Carroll said uninjured drivers tried to help as authorities sorted through the wreckage.

“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.”

Associated Press