JACKSON COUNTY, Ind.–Officials have reopened all lanes of Interstate 65 between Seymour and Crothersville following the accident and chemical fire near mile marker 43 early Wednesday morning. The Indiana State Police say the fire resulted from a three-vehicle crash in which a semi tractor-trailer transporting hazardous materials rear-ended another semi, pushing it into a third truck which had stopped because of a previous accident at mile marker 41.
Timeline of events:
• 4:30 a.m. – Three-vehicle collision at mile marker 43 on Southbound I-65. Southbound lanes closed.
• 10:45 a.m. – Chemical reaction begins as substances combine from ruptured containers inside the trailer. Officers warn residents in homes within a half-mile radius and evacuate them. Northbound lanes of I-65 shut down.
• 12:00 p.m. – Fire caused by a chemical reaction inside truck; decision made not to use water and foam to prevent spreading of chemicals to surrounding areas.
• 4:00 p.m. – Fire burns out naturally, and clean-up begins. Northbound lanes reopened.
• 9:00 p.m. – Southbound lanes of I-65 reopened following completion of clean-up and repaving to repair roadway.
ISP also says a passenger inside one of the trucks was transported to Scott Memorial Hospital in Scottsburg with injuries that were not life-threatening. The truck that apparently initiated the crash was carrying chemicals that included: a non-flammable gas, a corrosive liquid, a caustic acid, an oxidizing solid, and a corrosive liquid. It is unknown at this time whether the driver will be charged or cited for his part in the accident.