Tanker truck explodes on I-16 in Georgia, causes multi-car pile-up

12:15 PM, Feb 6, 2013   |    comments
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(Courtesy Jackie Brown)



Montrose, Georgia (WMAZ) - Three people are dead and nine were injured in a fiery multi-car pile-up on I-16 in Laurens County, according to the Georgia State Patrol. 

According to 911 dispatch, a tanker truck and more than 20 vehicles are involved. Firefighters from multiple agencies are battling a fire on the scene. 

Georgia State Patrol reports that the accident involves four separate crashes with a total of 27 vehicles. Seven commercial vehicles are involved, including the empty tanker that caught fire.

The Georgia State Patrol post in Dublin says I-16 is closed in both directions and probably will be closed for most of the day.

The injured have been taken to Fairview Park Hospital in Dublin.

The accident happened on the westbound side of I-16.

Martha Strickland of Dublin told our sister station 13WMAZ that she and her daughter drove through around 8:30 a.m. on the eastbound side of I-16 which was clear but clouded with smoke. 

The tanker had not exploded, she says, but the truck cab was on fire as was the car ahead of and behind it. 

Regarding reports of the fatalities, Strickland says, "If only three people died, it will be a miracle. It was just destruction. It was like a war zone."

Vehicles on I-16 heading eastbound must detour at Exit 32 and vehicles heading westbound must detour at Exit 39. According to the Georgia Department of Transportation website, all lanes are blocked between mile posts 34 to 37.

Officials urge motorists to avoid the area. 

The area is not expected to clear before 5 p.m.

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