JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) - A series of collisions on foggy Interstate 44 have left two people dead and seven injured in southwest Missouri.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says the three accidents occurred within minutes of each other around 7 a.m. Wednesday on eastbound I-44 near Joplin.

Names of those killed and injured had not been released late Wednesday.

The patrol said heavy fog appeared to be a factor.

Sgt. Mike Watson said 16 vehicles were involved, including nine semi-trucks, a large mobile crane, four passenger cars and two pickup trucks.

One truck driver and the driver of a car that slammed under a semi-truck's trailer were pronounced dead at the scene. The injured were taken to hospitals.