Authorities said two people were killed and more than a dozen were injured when a gas tanker skidded off a highway in Baltimore and exploded. Police said a third person died in a separate incident.
Baltimore City Fire Chief Roman Clark said the tanker fell over the jersey wall on Interstate 95 and burst into flames early Saturday. WBAL-TV in Baltimore received a graphic video from a viewer who captured the crash on his cell phone.
At least 15 people were injured in a 55-vehicle pile up. Clark said it's unclear whether the pileup started before the tanker crash or was a result of the debris from the explosion.
Scores of traffic accidents were reported across the region due to slick roads. Maryland State Police said troopers responded to 330 crashes across the state in a 24-hour period.
Clark said the roads were very icy, but it was too early to say what caused the tanker to careen off the highway.
The Maryland Transportation Authority said southbound I-95 reopened around 1:30 p.m. Traffic was detoured off northbound I-95 onto I-695. Crash investigation and cleanup continued on the northbound lanes. It was not clear when those lanes would be reopened.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan issued a statement after the crash.
“I strongly urge all Marylanders to use common sense and put their safety first by heeding all travel warnings from state and local authorities. Road conditions in many areas of the state are still extremely dangerous, and all those who can avoid travel should stay off the roads until conditions have improved.
“The First Lady and I send our deepest condolences and prayers to the families and loved ones of the individuals who lost their lives early this morning as a result of fatal accidents. Our state’s entire emergency management, transportation, and law enforcement resources are fully engaged in managing this situation and are working closely with local jurisdictions to provide needed support. I offer my sincerest gratitude to the state and local first responders who are working diligently at the scene of these incidents and who will continue to do so until the roadways are clear.”
MdTA police Lt. Kevin Ayd said the other incident occurred around 5 a.m. near Exit 59 along I-95. A driver, who was involved in a fender bender, stepped out to assess the damage and was accidentally struck and killed by an oncoming vehicle.
Baltimore County emergency officials said dozens of vehicles collided on the Beltway in the Rosedale area, and six people were taken to a hospital, according to WBAL-TV.