Mississippi highway collapses, 2 killed, at least 10 injured

Published 5:59 am Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Two people were killed and at least 10 others were injured when their vehicles plunged into a deep hole where a highway collapsed after Hurricane Ida blew through Mississippi.

Torrential rain may have caused the collapse, and the drivers may not have seen that the roadway in front of them had disappeared Monday night, Mississippi Highway Patrol Cp. Cal Robertson said.

“Some of these cars are stacked on top of each other,” he said. Seven vehicles were involved, including a motorcycle. A crane was brought in to lift them out of the hole.

WDSU-TV reports that state troopers, emergency workers and rescue teams responded to Highway 26 west of Lucedale, about 60 miles (96 kilometers) northeast of Biloxi, to find both the east and westbound lanes collapsed. Robertson said the hole is around 50 to 60 feet (15 to 18 meters) long and 20 to 30 feet (6 to 9 meters) deep.

The identities and conditions of the of those involved in the accident have not yet been released.

Click here for other views of the highway collapse posted on social media.

More than 8 inches (20 centimeters) of rain fell in the area during Ida, according to the National Weather Service.

Between 3,100 and 5,700 vehicles drive along the stretch of two-lane highway on an average day, according to Mississippi Department of Transportation data.

Hurricane Ida blasted ashore Sunday as a Category 4 storm, one of the most powerful ever to hit the U.S. mainland. It knocked out power to much of southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi, blowing roofs off buildings and reversing the flow of the Mississippi River.