At least one person was killed and 10 were injured Friday in a pileup affecting both the westbound and eastbound lanes of a Michigan interstate, involving more than 150 vehicles — including a semi-truck carrying fireworks that erupted into flames, according to police. Interstate 94 was completely closed down due to the chain-reaction crash in Battle Creek that started around 10 a.m., Michigan State Police Lt. Rick Pazder told NBC News.
Vehicular traffic in a three-mile radius of the crash was also being evacuated because the semi-truck carrying fireworks had caught fire and a nearby truck carrying Formic acid ignited, Pazder said. Anyone who lives in a three-mile radius is also being asked by HAZMAT officials to evacuate their homes, according to a statement from the Michigan State Police. Formic acid can cause throat burns, coughing and nausea if inhaled according to the Centers for Disease Control.
A semi-truck driver was killed in the crash, but is not yet being identified, Pazder said. Ten more people were injured and brought to area hospitals, while more people who were less seriously injured were brought to the Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Battle Creek, Pazder said. People involved in the crash who were not injured were being bused to Galesburg-Augusta Primary School.
Pazder said visibility was poor due to blowing snow at the time of the crash. He said he anticipated that the I-94 would be closed down for at least 12 hours.