Rostock police spokesman Volker Werner said 17 vehicles caught fire after the multiple crash on Friday near the Baltic Sea coast, including a truck carrying flammable material.

Police say a sand storm near Germany’s northern coast has caused a highway pileup that left at least five people dead and many others injured.

Rostock police spokesman Volker Werner said 17 vehicles caught fire after the multiple crash on Friday near the Baltic Sea coast, including a truck carrying flammable material.

He says 40 cars and three trucks were involved in the pileup and many people were injured. Mr. Werner could not give an exact injury toll as rescue operations were still under way.

Mr. Werner says the crash was caused by a sand storm, but it was unclear whether the crash was caused by the sudden lack of visibility or by sand on the tarmac.

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