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Fiery Multi-Vehicle Crash Closes I-65 near Lafayette, Indiana

By: weather.com/Associated Press
Published: January 19, 2014

Wintry weather produced treacherous driving situations in Lafayette, Ind.

Thirteen vehicles, including nine semitrailers, crashed in heavy snow Saturday on Interstate 65 near Lafayette and multiple smaller wrecks followed, Indiana State Police said.

Weather observations within Lafayette, Ind. at the time of the crash indicate as much as four inches of snowfall. Winds were blowing out of the southeast at nine miles per hour. Due to the snowfall and fog in the area, visibility was reduced to three-quarters of a mile.

Sgt. Kim Riley told The Associated Press that at least one semi caught fire and four people were taken to hospitals with injuries that were not life-threatening. He said he didn't know whether they were hurt in the large crash or the smaller ones.

Riley said those who were injured or stranded in vehicles were all safely taken away from the scene.

Earlier reports had described the large crash as involving about 30 vehicles.

The crashes stopped traffic in both directions, and authorities shut down I-65 in the area — both northbound and southbound. The interstate there was closed for several hours. The southbound portion eventually reopened, but the northbound part remained shut down late Saturday.

The Journal & Courier reported that most of the fire had been extinguished as of 8 p.m. Saturday, but that firefighters still worked to put out smoldering pallets uncovered as crews removed cargo from the trailers with forklifts.

The Tippecanoe County Emergency Management Agency added message boards to direct drivers to detours and placed light towers at the scene while emergency crews removed wreckage in the cold, according to the newspaper.

Below are images and reports of the crash from throughout social media.

 


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