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Sand-blasted California extends wind advisories

LANCASTER, Calif. (AP) — Wind advisories were extended Wednesday following blinding sandstorms that helped trigger several car pileups north of Los Angeles that killed at least four people and injured dozens of others, authorities said.

The sandstorms struck Tuesday as wind gusted to 55 mph in the arid high desert.

Advisories warning of gusts up to 50 mph were extended through late Wednesday, and more strong wind was likely in the area from late today into Friday, the National Weather Service said.

Strong winds and zero visibility Wednesday forced the closure of a stretch of state Highway 58, site of two fatal crashes Tuesday.

The largest crash scattered vehicles across state Highway 14 just west of Edwards Air Force Base on the northern edge of Los Angeles County. Two people were killed and 25 were taken to hospitals, two of them in critical condition, Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Ron Haralson said.