Deadly Truck Inferno Shuts I-5

By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 14, 2007 5:27 AM CDT
Traffic is backed up on northbound Interstate 5 Freeway following an overnight multi-vehicle crash which caused the closure of several lanes on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2007, in Santa Clarita, Calif. (AP Photo/Phil...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Firefighters were continuing to advance into a highway tunnel on California's Interstate 5  yesterday after a deadly five-truck inferno melted metal and blasted chunks of concrete off tunnel walls. The devastation made it likely that the state's major artery would be shut for days. At least three people died and 10 were injured in the big rig pileup Friday night.

The cause of the crash hadn't yet been determined because heat, smoke, and continuing explosions were hindering the investigation. Officials believe the blaze undermined the stability of the southbound truck tunnel and shut the main freeway that rests on the tunnel's roof. "I saw an accident in front of me," said one truck driver. "I came to a stop and they just kept hitting me" from behind.