SEYMOUR, Ind. — All lanes of Interstate 65 in southern Indiana were reopened late Wednesday after traffic was shut down by a fire that followed an early morning crash involving three semitrailers.
The crash occurred about 4:30 a.m. about 40 miles north of Louisville, Kentucky. Authorities say one of the semitrailers struck the rear of two others that were stopped for a previous crash in the southbound lanes.
Trooper Seth Davidson says one of the trucks was carrying four types of hazardous materials that spilled and mixed.
Extreme heat from the fire caused damage to a large section of asphalt.
Northbound lanes reopened more than 10 hours later, about 3 p.m., Wheeles said, but southbound lanes remain closed while the fire involving at least one of the semitrailers continued burning, sending black smoke billowing into the air. The Environmental Protection Agency advised firefighters not to put water on the fire, The (Columbus) Republic reported.
Residents of about 25 homes in the area were evacuated, but they were expected to return home by Wednesday evening after officials with the State Fire Marshal’s office advised no harmful substances were found.
Once the debris from the fire was removed from the scene, state highway crews would grind the pavement and fix the blacktop, said Duane Davis, director of the Jackson County Emergency Management Agency.
Indiana State police Sgt. Stephen Wheeles says work by responding agencies made the road safe for traffic until a permanent repair can be made.
Wheeles says the crash left one person with non-life-threatening injuries.