The initial fiery crash involving three semis, that shut down all lanes of Interstate 65 in Jackson County, Indiana, was reported in the southbound lanes of I-65 around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to Sgt. Stephan Wheeles of the Indiana State Police Versailles post.
According to police, one of the trucks was carrying four different types of hazardous materials that spilled and mixed.
Homes within a half mile of the area are being evacuated as a precaution.
Wheeles says the crash injured one person.
At 3 p.m., police said the northbound lanes were back open but the southbound lanes would remain closed "for a lengthy time". Because of the chemical fire, ISP and responders chose to let the fire burn out instead of putting water on it. Wheeles said crews were concerned that adding water could cause a reaction that could make the situation worse.
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"Something inside that trailer ruptured, which caused the chemicals to leak", Wheeles said. Police said both east and westbound traffic had to be diverted off the interstate.
The driver, a passenger, and their dog were able to escape the cab of the semi after the crash. "It didn't take long then for the trailer and the tractor to catch fire". However, just before 11 a.m., ISP said both southbound lanes were closed again due to "complications from the cleanup". Once the fire was out, the northbound lanes reopened.
The fire destroyed a vehicle from Indiana Spill Response and damaged the asphalt.