Update: Authorities say a seventh person has died as a result of the crash. An updated version of this story can be found here: Death Toll Rises to 7 in Florida Highway Crash, Explosion
Previous post: Two big rigs and two passenger vehicles collided and spilled diesel fuel across a Florida highway Thursday, sparking a massive fire that killed six people, authorities said.
The wreck happened on Interstate 75 about a mile (1.6 kilometers) south of Alachua, near Gainesville. The flames were fed by about 50 gallons (189 liters) of diesel, authorities said.
Eight other people were taken to the hospital, some with critical injuries, the Gainesville Sun reported.
Emergency crews extinguished the fire and said they were treating the crash as a homicide investigation.
The aftermath closed part of the highway in both directions, causing massive delays.
The crash was in the northbound lanes, but southbound lanes were closed to keep a route open for first responders, according to a tweet from the Alachua County Sherriff’s office, which said the emergency “required all hands on deck.” Authorities warned of a lengthy closure.
Debris including personal property and vehicle parts was scattered across the road, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
A helicopter arrived to search for any victims who may have been in nearby woods when the crash happened.