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CNN Today

Major Snowstorm Causes Massive 116-Car Accident

Aired February 22, 2001 - 4:21 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: We hear it is very slow going and quite treacherous along Interstate 95 in Virginia. State police say snow and very icy conditions have caused a 100-vehicle -- car pile-up on the highway between Fredericksburg and Washington, D.C.

There have been some injuries, but fortunately no reports of fatalities. Officials say the interstate was closed for about an hour, but has since reopened.

Lieutenant A.J. Anderson, who is with the Virginia State Police, joins us on the line now. He's in Culpepper, Virginia.

Lieutenant, what can you tell us about this big pile-up at this point?

LIEUTENANT A.J. ANDERSON, VIRGINIA STATE POLICE: Well this afternoon -- it happened about 1:15 -- we had a report of 116 cars involved in this pile-up, along with 12 to 14 tractor trailers.

CHEN: Now do you mean 116 cars like, end to end, all of them have touched or are these in different places?

ANDERSON: Well, it's my understanding just it's just quite a mess. Everybody sort of ran into each other. One of these tailgate type of deals, where everybody runs into each other.

CHEN: Wow; how much snow have you been getting up there today?

ANDERSON: It's been snowing pretty heavily and, of course, as you mentioned a moment ago, we're getting some icing and sleeting conditions as well, which is certainly hampering us with the removal of those vehicles from the interstate.

CHEN: Now, we understand that there have been no reports of fatalities at this point, which we are glad to hear, but there's still a lot of concern about this traffic, the people in this accident.

ANDERSON: Right; the interstate is still closed at this time. We hope to have that open within the next couple of hours, but south- bound 95 is still closed.

CHEN: All right. Lieutenant A.J. Anderson of the Virginia state police on the telephone line with us from Culpepper this afternoon. He's told us a little about the weather where he is. Chad Myers joins us now from our weather center to help us put in perspective the weather -- I'm seeing a lot of white on the map, right around the beltway there.

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It came in very quickly and it's leaving very quickly. I guess that's some good news, Joie. But for the most part, we still have snow for D.C. D.C., the national airport there, Ronald Reagan airport, half-mile visibility in snow. Same story for Dulles, and it's still coming down.

Here's the I-95 corridor, and the accident was right about here, to the South of D.C., near the Quantico, Virginia area. If you're familiar with it, I-95 goes from Richmond right up into D.C. And for a while there, visibility was down to a quarter mile. As cars crested a hill, they could not see the cars that were stopped at bottom of the hill and obviously, as they crested the hill, the road was very, very slippery.

More to come a little bit later, Joie. Back to you.

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