Large fire causes Georgia highway overpass collapse
The northbound lanes of an I-85 bridge in Atlanta collapsed after the section was apparently undermined by an intense fire.
“This is going to be a traffic nightmare for a long time,” The Georgia Department of Transportation tweeted Thursday night.
Witnesses say troopers were telling cars to turn around on the bridge because they were concerned about its integrity. Minutes later, the bridge collapsed, the Associated Press reported.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that first calls about the fire came in around 6:30p with the bridge collapse reported at 7 p.m.
An eyewitness told the newspaper that she did not hear an explosion and could not see the flames but the black acrid cloud billowing from under the bridge and darkening the sky smelled like burning rubber.
Drivers in the area were told by state officials to keep their windows closed.
A local television station reported that the fire was coming from underneath the interstate in the area of some PVC piping.
Local media reported on the collapse via Twitter.
State transportation officials told drivers to stay off the interstate near Midtown. Both north and southbound lane are now closed until further notice, officials said.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.