Atlanta highway collapse snarls traffic; fire investigated

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Bailey-Blake said: "The first few days are going to be hard".

Former Gov. Bill Ritter created the fund after an Interstate 35 bridge collapsed at the height of rush hour in Minneapolis on August 1, 2007, killing 13 and injuring 145.

Authorities believe Eleby set the fire that took place on Thursday and that the others were present, according to the Journal-Constitution.

Three people were arrested Friday night in connection with the blaze, authorities said.

All five lanes of the highway in each direction will be closed for the foreseeable future, officials said. Amazingly, no one was injured.

Motorists traveling northbound on I-85 from the southside of Atlanta will be diverted to northbound I-75 at Brookwood near 17th Street.

USA transportation secretary Elaine Chao released 10 million dollars (£8 million) for the initial fix work, and the Federal Highway Administration promised more in emergency fix funds.

The fire began during rush hour and traffic shut down quickly after due to the deteriorated stability of the overpass. They would not say what led them to the suspects.

Florence didn't say how investigators came to suspect the man or say anything about a motive. The charges could be "upgraded", said Glenn Allen, a spokesman for the insurance department.

This photo purports to show the fenced area under Interstate 85 where the fire started.

PVC pipes are generally "stable", McMurry said Friday.

He was arrested Friday and charged with criminal damage to property. He was last arrested in 2014 in Fulton County for the sale and trafficking of cocaine. The disposition of the charge is not clear.

Bruner and Thomas were charged with criminal trespassing, and were released from custody on Friday night.

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The exact cause of the fire and the bridge's condition are under investigation. In a statement posted to GDOT's website, McMurry said the area under the bridge where the fire started is "part of the state's right of way that was utilized as a storage location for construction materials, equipment and supplies". He said, however, that it was not combustible and posed no threat in itself.

"It's no different than having a plastic cup in your cupboard ... needs something to ignite it", he said.

Atlanta officials say a massive fire that burned for more than an hour and caused the collapse of an interstate overpass has been extinguished.

"I do not know why they did or what the source of their transport was", Deal said.

Similarly, Stafford said, firefighters stopped auto traffic on I-85 nearly as soon as they arrived on the scene, sensing collapse of the roadway could be imminent.

"It was like a 50-foot wall of fire".

The route is also a popular one used to get to Hartsfield Jackson, the busiest airport in the world.

The northbound I-85 bridge partially collapsed after it was engulfed in flames, while the southbound bridge was damaged by the fire.

Inspectors said that other sections of the bridge may also require fix or replacement as a result of fire damage. "They did as much as they could - without putting their lives in any more danger - to put the fire out".

"But this will take at least several months to get this rebuilt". Then, he guesses they'll return to make more permanent repairs. The transit system's chief, Keith Parker, said ridership was up 25 percent.

But Canfield, who works for a home construction company, was in good spirits despite the extra challenges. "There are a lot of old timber bridges on highways there that have been replaced". Stafford said homeless people have been known to congregate in the area, part of which is accessible via railroad tracks near Piedmont Road.

Traffic on GA 400 south is being diverted onto exit 2/Lenox Road.