Fatal Accident Involving Hazardous Materials, Interstate Closed For Extended Period Of Time [GALLERY]
***UPDATED 11:47 a.m.***
At least one fatality and multiple injuries have been confirmed in a wreck that occurred about 20 miles west of Laramie on Interstate 80, according to a release from Wyoming Highway Patrol.
This is the second time in less than five days, Interstate 80 is closed due to a major vehicle pileup.
Dense fog and light slush conditions are being cited as contributing factors in this crash.
Very preliminary information has approximately 21 - 40 vehicles involved.
The investigation and cleanup has been hampered due to a large fire that is still burning from the crash with a 22,000 gallon tanker of Butyl Cellosolve (hazardous material) involved in the fire.
Initial reports are that two commercial vehicles crashed with each other at approximately 8:00 a.m. today causing one of the trucks to jackknife in both lanes of I-80 westbound. After the jackknife, the chain reaction of crashes began as multiple westbound vehicles crashed into the jackknifed truck and each other.
***UPDATE at 11:10 a.m.***
The multi-vehicle crash occurred near milepost 290, about 20 miles west of Laramie.
I-80 is closed in both directions between Walcott Junction and Laramie, and westbound from Cheyenne to Laramie. The westbound closure at Cheyenne was implemented for traffic management purposes, since it is anticipated the closure will be lengthy.
Initial reports indicate as many as 15 vehicles were involved in the crash, with one or more vehicles engulfed in fire. There is no confirmation on the number of fatalities and injuries. Numerous emergency responders, including firefighters, are on scene.
***UPDATE at 10:48 a.m.***
We have received word that a tanker carrying a flammable liquid is involved in the accident. While that truck is not on fire, vehicles near the tanker do have flames present. Reports say that possibly as many as three other vehicles are on fire.
Radio traffic indicates that Albany County Fire has run out of water and have requisitioned water tankers from Sinclair, Rawlins, and Elk Mountain.
It is unclear if there are any injuries.
***Posted at 10:26 a.m.***
Officials at the Wyoming Department of Transportation have confirmed that a wreck near Herrick Lane has closed Interstate 80 between Laramie and Rawlins.
An official from WYDOT says that radio traffic has indicated that several vehicles at the wreck are on fire. In addition, law enforcement escorted a school bus away from the area after the accident occurred.
Another accident between Cheyenne and Laramie has resulted in the closure of I-80 Westbound from Cheyenne to Laramie. Information on that accident was not immediately available.
We have received reports that traffic is beginning to back up near the I-80 and Curtis Street exit in the Laramie area. With foggy conditions around the area, use caution when traveling on or near the interstate.
We will keep you updated as we get more information.