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article imageMassive fire causes collapse of Interstate in Atlanta, Georgia

By Karen Graham     Mar 31, 2017 in World
Atlanta - A massive fire caused an elevated section of Interstate-85 to collapse in Atlanta, Georgia Thursday evening. The interstate is a major north-south artery for the Southeastern U.S., carrying an estimated 250,000 vehicles both ways every day.
Atlanta woke up to a real mess this morning - A traffic mess on Interstate-85 that has already created delays as people look for alternative routes to get to work in the city. But the reality is that the transportation crisis is going to be here for the foreseeable future.
The fire under an elevated section of I-85 near Piedmont Road was noticed by firefighters returning from another call, and soon, they were battling a 40-foot wall of flames that caused power lines to fall, sending them arcing heavily as they landed in the streets, reports local news outlet WSB-TV2.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said the collapse is not related to terrorism. "We've spoken to the special agent in charge of FBI, there is no evidence this is related to terrorism," he said Thursday night, according to CNN.
On Thursday night, it was suspected, but unconfirmed that some burning PVC piping was to blame for the blaze. Since that time, officials are saying the fire was an accident and burning PVC was to blame. The noxious smoke from the fire, which could be seen for miles, brought out the EPA to monitor the area.
The incident didn't cause any fatalities. Firefighters managed to get cars stopped before they continued to travel over the bridge. As concrete began falling from under the bridge, firefighters made people step back, Cortez Stafford, a spokesman for the Atlanta Fire Department said. "Not even two minutes later, the highway fell with a big 'kaboom.' (It) knocked our guys back."
On Friday morning, fire crews were still dealing with hot spots in the rubble while city officials work at finding reliable alternate routes for traffic. Government and many businesses have alerted employees to delayed start times and MARTA has announced that extra service lines have been added to take care of the increased ridership.
It is going to take awhile before the overpass bridge is replaced. The section that collapsed was about 100-feet long and there was additional damage to infrastructure close to the overpass. Locals and travelers are going to need to be patient while repairs are being done.
More about I85 collapse, Atlanta georgia, northsouth artery, massive fire, Atlanta braves
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