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I-65 closed in Jackson Co. after semi crash, explosion risk

I-65 closed in Jackson Co. after semi crash, explosion risk

All lanes in both directions of Interstate 80/94 remained shut down late Wednesday morning at Chase Street in Gary because power lines were down on the roadway, according to Indiana State Police. The collision caused a hazardous chemical to spill on the road.

Sgt. Stephen Wheeles, the public information officer for the Versailles district of Indiana State Police, said the chain-reaction crash happened around 4:30 a.m. near the 43 mile marker. Okpeh's vehicle struck the rear of a 2012 Freightliner pulling a box trailer driven by Vitali Kriuchkov, age 34, Orlando, Florida, that was stopped in the right lane.

The crash involved three semi trucks. His injuries aren't believed to be life-threatening. The northbound lanes reopened to traffic around 3 p.m., and the southbound lanes opened around 9 p.m. NIPSCO notified police the soonest the road could reopen is approximately 11:30 a.m.

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While the area was closed, traffic was directed off I-65 at Exit 50 (Seymour) and onto US 31 south to State Road 250 and back on I-65 at exit 41.

Shortly after 11 a.m. one of the trucks caught on fire and burned for almost two hours. It continued burning for about four hours. Northbound lanes of I-65 were also shut down.

The fire destroyed a vehicle from Indiana Spill Response and damaged the asphalt. Crews were able to make temporary repairs until permanent ones can be made.