35 vehicles caught in 2 New Hampshire pileups

In this frame grab made from aerial video provided by WCVB-TV, emergency personnel work the scene along Interstate Route 93 near Ashland, N.H., where a New Hampshire State Police spokesman says 35 vehicles were involved in two separate pileups after some fast-moving snow squalls, Friday, Jan. 2, 2015. (AP Photo/WCVB-TV)

ASHLAND, N.H. (AP) — 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.

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.”

Department of Transportation spokesman Bill Boynton said the highway went from dry pavement to snow covered in three minutes.

“Whatever happened was sudden and dramatic,” Boynton said.

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 to traffic for more than three hours as fleets of tow trucks hauled away damaged vehicles.

Snow was falling on and off in the state Friday.

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

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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