It took until late in the evening before the wreckage was cleared [Reuters]

Eight people have been killed and scores other injured in Germany after a freak sandstorm caused a huge motorway pileup.

In total about 110 people in 80 cars and three lorries were involved in the crash on Friday, which occurred in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania state a few kilometres from Germany's Baltic Sea coast.

At least 17 vehicles caught fire, including a lorry carrying flammable material.

Volker Werner, a local police spokesman, said that 41 people had been injured in the crash.

He said that strong winds likely carried loose, sandy topsoil from nearby fields to the four-lane highway.

The region has recently experienced prolonged dry conditions, affecting agriculture and leaving many soils exposed to erosion.

It took emergency workers until late in the evening to clear the stretch of motorway.

Source: Agencies