NEW INFORMATION: Drivers faced near-whiteout conditions before pileup

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MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. (AP) -- A state police official says drivers went quickly from a clear roadway to near-whiteout conditions at the scene of a massive pileup yesterday on Interstate 94 in northwestern Indiana.

State police Lt. Jerry Williams says the area had a sudden burst of snow that was difficult to predict before the pileup of more than 40 vehicles began. A state highway department spokesman say road crews had gone over that stretch of I-94 salting and plowing within 20 minutes of the pileup's start.

Three people were killed in the wreck, and more than 20 others were injured.

The injured include one man who was flown to a Chicago-area hospital after he was trapped in the wreckage for more than three hours. A second person was also critically hurt. Police say the others suffered less serious injuries.

Eastbound lanes of I-94 remained closed this morning as crews continued working to clear the scene. Cranes and wreckers were brought in to help remove the wreckage.

MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. (AP) -- A massive highway pileup being blamed on whiteout conditions has left at least two people dead and an unknown number injured in northwestern Indiana.

Indiana State Police say they have closed Interstate 94 eastbound and are bringing in cranes and wreckers to help clear the scene.

The accident occurred Friday afternoon near Michigan City.

LaPorte County Coroner John Sullivan tells NBC's WMAQ-TV in Chicago that the death toll could grow because cars are still under semis and haven't been searched.

Photos of the scene show at least a dozen tractor-trailers jammed together the width of the highway near an overpass. Some passenger vehicles cars are sandwiched in the wreckage.

The Times of Munster reports school buses are being brought in to keep motorists involved in the crash warm.