Highway collapses in Mississippi

(Lucedale) Two people were killed and at least 10 others were injured when their vehicle plunged into a deep hole where a freeway collapsed after Hurricane Ida crossed the Mississippi.

Torrential rains may have caused the collapse, and drivers may not have seen that the roadway in front of them was gone by Monday night, said Cal Robertson, a corporal with the Mississippi Highway Patrol.

“Some of these cars are stacked on top of each other,” he said. Seven vehicles were involved, including a motorcycle. A crane was brought in to pull them out of the hole.

WDSU-TV reports that state soldiers, frontline workers and rescue teams responded to Highway 26 west of Lucedale, about 96 kilometers northeast of Biloxi, to discover that the east and west tracks have collapsed. Corporal Robertson said the hole is approximately 15 to 18 meters long and 6 to 9 meters deep.

The identity and state of health of those involved in the accident have not yet been disclosed.

More than 200 millimeters of rain fell in the region during Ida’s passage, according to the National Weather Service.

According to data from the Mississippi Department of Transportation, between 3,100 and 5,700 vehicles travel the two-lane stretch of highway each day.

Ida struck Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane, one of the strongest to hit the Americas. It caused a power outage across much of southeast Louisiana and southern Mississippi, ripping off the roofs of buildings and reversing the flow of the Mississippi River.

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