Many more" fatalities may be possible, LaPorte County Coroner John Sullivan said, because cars remained underneath semis that had not been searched.
"It’s just a mess out there right now,” Sullivan said.
The crash involved at least 15 semi-trailer trucks and multiple other passenger vehicles, police said. Other injuries were reported, but the extent of the injures was not known.
Jill Nygren, a spokesperson for Franciscan St. Anthony Heath in Michigan City said they received seven patients from the accident as of 5 p.m.
Three of the patients were listed in critical condition and four others were listed as "walking wounded." The hospital is expecting more to arrive.
University of Indiana Health-LaPorte Hospital said they were preparing for 16 patients. The conditions of those patients were not immediately known.