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Snow squalls cause huge pileups in New Hampshire

ASHLAND, N.H. -- At least 35 vehicles were involved in two separate pileups on Interstate 93 after some fast-moving snow squalls caused whiteout conditions Friday morning.

Lt. Jerry Maslan, a state police spokesman, said there were some injuries, but they weren't considered to be life-threatening. Calls about the accidents started coming in at about 9:45 a.m. Friday.

Photographer Matt Colson of CBS Boston station WBZ-TV reports that the icy road was as slick as glass at the time of the pileups.

A fire is seen following a multiple vehicle pileup on Interstate 93 near Ashland, New Hampshire, Jan. 2, 2015.
A fire is seen following a multiple vehicle pileup on Interstate 93 near Ashland, New Hampshire, Jan. 2, 2015. Courtesy of Ben Baldwin

Manchester District Fire Chief Al Poulin, who drove through the squall, told WMUR-TV that there were many vehicles on the road driving in excess of the 75 mph speed limit, including some apparently heading to ski resorts for the weekend.

Conditions were clear and then suddenly, "we slowed right down to nothing," he said. "We couldn't even see where we were going, that's how much of a whiteout condition existed at the time."

Multiple vehicles were involved in a pileup on Interstate 93 near Ashland, New Hampshire, Jan. 2, 2015.
Multiple vehicles were involved in a pileup on Interstate 93 near Ashland, New Hampshire, Jan. 2, 2015. Courtesy of Ben Baldwin

Maslan said one of the crashes involved a truck trailer that caught fire after a vehicle went underneath it. It wasn't known what the trailer was carrying, but aerial footage showed boxes strewn among the crumpled cars.

The accidents happened in the northbound lanes in and near Ashland, about 30 miles north of Concord. The lanes were closed for more than three hours while fleets of tow trucks hauled away damaged vehicles.

Multiple vehicles were involved in a pileup on Interstate 93 near Ashland, New Hampshire, Jan. 2, 2015.
Multiple vehicles were involved in a pileup on Interstate 93 near Ashland, New Hampshire, Jan. 2, 2015. Courtesy of Ben Baldwin

Snow was falling on and off in the state Friday.

Maslan said earlier in the morning on Interstate 89 in Grantham, multiple cars went off the road or were in fender benders. He said no injuries were reported in those crashes.

A fire is seen following a multiple vehicle pileup on Interstate 93 near Ashland, New Hampshire, Jan. 2, 2015.
A fire is seen following a multiple vehicle pileup on Interstate 93 near Ashland, New Hampshire, Jan. 2, 2015. Courtesy of Ben Baldwin
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