3 Dead in Massive Pile-Up on Florida’s I-95, Explosion Reported

At least three people have died in a series of car accidents in Florida as more than a dozen vehicles were involved in a pile-up, according to reports.

The initial accident was reported on Interstate 95 around 1:30 a.m. on Thursday, said Kim Montes, a Florida Highway Patrol spokeswoman. She added that there were four separate crashes that involved 17 vehicles in total.

Two of the dead were traveling south, while the other person died in a northbound crash, Montes said.

A child who was airlifted to Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children was reportedly in stable condition, and multiple people were taken to a Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach. The exact number of people injured remains unknown.

In the latest update, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District 5 announced the I-95’s northbound and southbound sides will remain closed in the New Smyrna Beach/Edgewater area “throughout the day and into the evening.”

“Preliminary assessments show damage to the roadway, which will need to be repaired prior to opening to traffic,” FDOT said in a statement. “Motorists traveling on I-95 in or through Volusia County are encouraged to seek alternate routes,” it added.

The I-95 is the primary north-south highway artery along the U.S. East Coast, running from South Florida to Maine.

According to footage from one of the crashes, a semi-truck caught fire and exploded, sending flames and smoke shooting skyward. Another video from the scene showed a car crushed under the front of a tractor-trailer.

On March 3, the National Weather Service issued a dense fog advisory on Twitter, warning drivers of “very low visibility” on the I-95 near Edgewater.

“Use caution on the roads,” the service said.

For drivers traveling along an interstate at highway speeds, such conditions can be disorienting.

“It’s totally fine and then you run into a wall of that smog. You get an incredibly sharp drop in visibility,” WFTV meteorologist Brian Shields said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.