01/15/2013 05:17 pm ET

Sweden Highway Pileup: Massive Accident Involving At Least 100 Cars Kills 3 Motorists, Injures At Least 15 Others (VIDEO)

A horrific highway pileup in Sweden claimed at least three lives Tuesday, local police said, according to multiple reports.

Another 15 to 20 people were injured in the massive traffic accident that involved as many as 100 cars and trucks, police spokesman Jimmy Nordin told the Agence France-Presse.

"It's the worst accident I've seen during my 30 years in this line of work," emergency responder Jonas Hellsten told Swedish newspaper Helsingbord Dagbladet, according to Swedish news site The Local.

The highway pileup on the E4 motorway near Helsingborg in southern Sweden occurred shortly before noon on Jan. 15 and amid difficult weather conditions, including dense fog and slippery roads. Two rescue vehicles were also involved in the accident, police spokeswoman Eva-Lotta Hermansson Truedsson told the Associated Press.

The enormous pileup began as a collision on one of the highway's bridges. Eventually, vehicles in both lanes were involved in a wreck spanning more than a mile. Officials shut down the highway in both directions so rescue teams could be dispatched to evacuate motorists, some of whom were trapped in their vehicles, according to United Press International.

Multiple-car traffic pileups are rare in Sweden, which is said to have some of the safest roads in Europe.

However, with heavy snowfall continuing Tuesday, a number of other accidents were reported in the area, including at least 33 in Stockholm, according to The Local.