UPDATE: 123-Vehicle Crash Causes Fatality, Closes I-94 Near Kalamazoo, Battle Creek [VIDEO]
Galesburg, Mich. — A crash on I-94 eastbound in Kalamazoo County resulted in a 123-vehicle pileup and at least one fatality.
The accident happened just after 10 a.m. Friday, and Michigan State Police (MSP) said officials closed the freeway in both directions between mile marker 85 and 92. Police said the highway will remain shut down until early Saturday morning.
As of about 4 p.m. (prior to the update), MSP said about 70 vehicles were involved in the westbound lanes and 20 in the eastbound — an estimated 50 semis are included in that number, according to WWMT Newschannel 3.
WWMT also reported that one of the semis involved in the crash was hauling 40,000 pounds of hazardous material that has not been identified; another semi was carrying fireworks, which caught fire and launched at the scene.
At last count, MSP said there were 23 people who sustained injuries that required hospitalization. At least one person is in serious condition, and one person died, according to WWMT.
Eastbound traffic on I-94 is being rerouted at Exit 88 (Michigan Avenue). The detour is rerouted onto Sprinkle Road to Exit 80, according to MDOT. Westbound traffic on I-94 is being rerouted at Exit 92 (M-37/Columbia Avenue).
Authorities are moving people involved in the crash by bus to a "safe location," MSP said.
Early during the fire, police ordered a 3-mile-radius evacuation surrounding the crash, due to the burning hazardous materials on the scene; authorities told people to take shelter if they were within a 1-mile radius of the crash (which was near mile marker 90, close to the boarder of Kalamazoo and Calhoun counties), WWMT reported. The burning vehicles were extinguished by 1:45 p.m.
Authorities are asking people to stay off the roads today, due to the conditions.