13 injured in multi-car pileup as dust storm hits

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A dust storm moving through Arizona Tuesday afternoon may have caused a seven-car wreck on Interstate 10 that injured 13 people.

Hector Vasquez, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, says Interstate 10 near Picacho Peak got a "direct hit" from the storm and may have caused an accident that backed up traffic for miles.

The Arizona Daily Star reports that the seven-vehicle wreck included two tractor-trailer rigs, and that dust prevented helicopters from transporting patients for a while.

Five people were taken by ambulance to local hospitals.

A weather advisory was posted over the dinner hour for central Maricopa County and west central Pinal County.

An area of gusty 25 to 35 mph south winds and blowing dust was generated from earlier thunderstorms north of Tucson.  

The advisory included central and southeast portions of the greater Phoenix area, Coolidge, Maricopa and portions of Interstate 10.

CBS 5 chief meteorologist Chris Dunn said at 6:30, the storm was moving through central Phoenix. Visibility was down to one mile at the Chandler Airport.

Hector Vasquez, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, says the dust storm wasn't all that dense and didn't cause the agency to issue a dust storm warning because visibility was at between 1 and 5 miles.

Other dust storms this summer have reduced visibility to less than a quarter mile.

Copyright 2011 KPHO. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.