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Polar vortex causes massive 21-car pile-up on upstate NY highway (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Polar vortex causes massive 21-car pile-up on upstate NY highway (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
Treacherous winter storm conditions caused a 21-car pileup on a highway in upstate New York, east of Batavia, forcing the entire interstate to close for several hours. One of the vehicles involved was a State Police car.

New York State Police are on the scene investigating and assisting drivers involved in the grisly accident that took place in the eastbound lanes of Interstate Route 90. The crash happened around 2 pm local time, between Batavia and Rochester in Genesee County.

One of the cars was a State Police cruiser. The officer was reported injured but his life is not threatened. The condition of other drivers was not immediately known.

A travel advisory was issued for Genesee County on Wednesday afternoon. Video from nearby roads reveals the whiteout conditions in which the crash took place.

The freakishly cold, snowy weather besieging much of the northern US comes from the polar vortex, a mass of cold air normally found around the Arctic Circle that occasionally breaks apart to send icy devastation southward. 

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