A blast of cold air caused rain and wet roads to freeze across the Eastern US, triggering major traffic pileups in Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina, the AP reports. Baltimore City Fire Chief Roman Clark said two people were killed and at least 15 were injured in a 55-vehicle accident and tanker explosion. Clark said the tanker careened off the highway, fell over a jersey wall, and burst into flames. "The roads were very icy," Clark said. "We have nothing but sheets of ice throughout the city." Another crash involving 15 to 20 vehicles in Baltimore County resulted in the hospitalization of six people.
In Virginia, meanwhile, State Police say 41 traffic crashes were reported in the northern part of the state. It was unclear how many were due to slick roads. One fatality was reported. Authorities in Ohio say a Columbus woman was killed Saturday after her car skidded off a slick road. In central North Carolina, light freezing rain has caused scores of traffic accidents. Police and emergency workers reported more than 100 crashes overnight Saturday in Raleigh and Charlotte as the drizzle combined with temperatures below freezing. Charlotte police reported two people dead in separate fatal crashes early Saturday, although investigators are still trying to figure out if ice caused the wrecks. (Read more traffic accident stories.)