(LibertySociety.com) – A tragedy unfolded during the morning of October 23 when dense fog caused a 158-car pileup on Interstate 55 near New Orleans, Louisiana. The zero visibility conditions were caused by a mixture of dense fog and smoke from nearby marsh fires. Sadly, seven people were killed in the pileup, and 25 others were injured and transported to nearby hospitals.
Video of the aftermath showed that many vehicles involved were completely crushed by others. Some were overturned, completely burned, or had parts scattered along the road. One truck was hit hard enough to be flung into the swamp underneath the elevated interstate.
A potentially dangerous situation with a semi-truck hauling a hazardous liquid was quickly addressed by first responders who removed the liquid from the truck. With fires igniting in several areas after the crash, removing the tanker was a top priority. Cleanup of the devastating accident will take some time, but the bridge will also need to be cleared by inspectors before it will be reopened. Alternate routes have been provided for motorists who need to travel south. The Communications Manager for the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development said that the bridge will remain closed “for the foreseeable future.”
While super fog events are uncommon, they are very dangerous when they do happen. The marsh fire in Louisiana was located on private property, but the cause remains unknown. Super fog events have caused fatalities in southern states over the last few decades, usually occurring near bodies of water.
A pileup in 2009 between Tampa and Orlando, Florida, resulted in the deaths of four people. Forty others were injured, and first responders had to resort to walking along the interstate to find people who needed to be rescued. Ten people were killed in a 2012 super fog event in Gainesville, Florida, which was caused by a mixture of fog and a nearby brush fire. Just last year, three people were killed in a super fog crash on the interstate near New Smyrna Beach, Florida.
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