Truck pile-up in California freeway tunnel
According to The Associated Press, a rain-slicked Southern California freeway tunnel crash turned into a chain-reaction pileup on Friday that wrecked 15 trucks, killed at least two people and shut down the busy north-south route as the wreckage burned for hours.
Authorities warned more bodies might be found. One truck driver was still unaccounted for, and 10 people were injured.
The two dead were found in the tunnel after the flames died down.
While the tunnel is designed to carry truck traffic through a mountain pass area, passenger cars may also use it, causing concerns that some might be trapped inside, Fire Inspector Jason Hurd said.
Two trucks collided about 11 p.m. inside a southbound truck tunnel on Interstate 5 in Santa Clarita, California, triggering the pileup, according to Hurd.
Twenty people fled the tunnel on foot, including the 10 injured, Hurd said. The injured were taken to hospitals and treated mainly for burns and neck and back injuries.
Flames shot out of both ends of the tunnel, rising as high as 100 feet into the air, firefighters at the scene said.
The key route between Los Angeles and San Francisco remained blocked Saturday, and the wreckage was still smoldering more than 14 hours after the wreck. The highway is also a major commuter link connecting Los Angeles to its northern suburbs, and huge traffic jams are likely in the area if the route is still closed when the work week starts Monday.