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‘Superfog’ in Louisiana causes a series of deadly car crashes

2023-10-25T13:25:15+00:00
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'Superfog', Louisiana, accident, car crash, weather
'Superfog' in Louisiana (Photo: The Associated Press)
  • «Superfog» in Louisiana causes series of crashes.
  • There were several fatalities.
  • An investigation is underway.

A «superfog» generated by smoke from fires ravaging the southern Louisiana marshes triggered a series of catastrophic traffic accidents on Monday.

At least seven people died Monday morning after the fog engulfed Interstate 55 near New Orleans in a chaotic mess of twisted metal and burning vehicles.

Twenty-five people were injured and the death toll may rise as first responders work into the night cleaning up the scenes and searching for victims, Louisiana State Police said.

Governor John Bel Edwards has even made an urgent call for blood donors and has requested prayers for the victims in the midst of this tragedy.

‘Superfog’ in Louisiana causes deadly accidents

Super fog Louisiana causes crashes, New Orleans, fatal accident, USA, MundoNOW
PHOTO: The Associated Press

The incidents caused traffic to be blocked in both directions of I-55, especially near the community of Manchac.

The lack of visibility resulted in the intermittent closure of portions of I-10 and the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, which spans 24 miles (39 kilometers).

It is worth mentioning that the situation has become critical in the region, aggravated by marsh fires that have been active since July.

Smoke from the fires, which has suffocated New Orleans for two days, mixed with fog.

Fog warnings for Louisiana and Mississippi

Fog, Louisiana, accident, fatal crashes, MundoNOW
PHOTO: Shutterstock

The National Weather Service (NWS) issued dense fog warnings for most of southern Louisiana and Mississippi.

Meteorologists have called this phenomenal combination of fog and smoke «superfog.»

Moisture released from the steaming wet swamps has reduced visibility to less than 10 feet, creating extremely dangerous conditions.

The incident on I-55 occurred in the middle of the morning darkness, when drivers traveling on the highway were surprised by the fog.

A series of fatal highway crashes

Highway, victims, USA, MundoNOW
PHOTO: The Associated Press

In an instant, what was a morning routine became a deadly nightmare, with at least seven fatalities.

Shortly before 9:00 a.m. about 18 trucks crashed in the northbound lanes between Ruddock and Manchac.

Three of the semi-trailers were completely engulfed in flames, which spread to other vehicles.

Another multi-vehicle pileup blocked southbound lanes. The Louisiana Department of Traffic Development reported an 11-mile backup.

I-55 blocked by an accident

I-55, Highway, cars, victims, death toll, MundoNOW
PHOTO: Shutterstock

School buses were called in to transport the drivers stranded at the crash sites on elevated I-55, which passes over lakes Pontchartrain and Maurepas.

At noon, state police told reporters at the scene that a vehicle went over the highway guardrail and into the water, but the driver escaped unharmed.

A witness said she was driving toward Manchac with her wife and niece in the car when she saw people waving their hands for her to stop, according to The Associated Press.

She said she stopped the car but was hit from behind and from the side by two other vehicles. “It was ‘Boom. Boom.’ All you kept hearing was crashing.”

What witnesses said after the crashes

Fog, I-55, crashes, USA, MundoNOW
PHOTO: The Associated Press

Another witness told the media that he believes between 75 and 150 vehicles were involved, according to Fox Weather.

He was taking his daughter to the airport when he had to stop short to avoid the accident. Authorities estimate 30 people were injured in the more than two dozen accidents.

He said he couldn’t see the cars in front of him: «I happened to be in a little pocket of about probably 15 cars with no damage,» he said.

«And probably two or three seconds after we came to a stop, you just heard boom, boom, boom, boom, collision after collision behind us,» he added.

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