Fire Causes Bridge Collapse on I-85 in Atlanta


A portion of Interstate 85 collapsed in Atlanta March 30 due to a fire under the bridge, the city's fire and rescue agency said.

There were no immediate reports of casualties in the incident but Atlanta Fire and Rescue said on Twitter that all lanes were blocked and that residents should avoid the area.

It was not immediately clear what was burning under the bridge, but local TV images showed bright orange flames and thick black smoke billowing into the sky above the freeway as a line of cars stood halted on either side.

Traffic was jammed on nearby roads and freeways as well, according to online congestion maps. The heavy smoke made it difficult to immediately determine how many lanes of the highway had collapsed.

I-85 is a major artery and truck route in the Southeast. In January, the American Transportation Research Institute identified Atlanta's "Spaghetti Junction" interchange (I-285 and I-85 North) as the nation's worst truck bottleneck, and ranked seven Atlanta bottlenecks in its Top 100. American Trucking Associations said it is carefully monitoring the situation and encouraged fleets to re-route their vehicles from the area and to exercise caution.

A photo posted on the Twitter feed of local WSB-TV showed what appeared to be barrels and coils under the bridge.

The station reported that fire crews from nearby Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport were brought in to help and were spraying foam typically used for airplane crashes onto the flames.