Bridge Collapses in Atlanta During Massive Fire

WXIA reported Bruner and Thomas were detained but not arrested.

That's how crews approached the 2013 I-5 bridge collapse into the Skagit River, Wilson said.

CBS46 has confirmed that three people were arrested in connection to the major fire that caused I-85 to collapse in Atlanta Thursday.

The other suspects, Sophia Broner and Barry Thomas, are charged with criminal trespass.

Sgt. Cortez Stafford, a spokesman for the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department, said Basil Eleby, 39 years old, was charged with first-degree criminal damage to property and remains in custody. Florence also said the origin of the fire has not been released yet. They were booked in the Fulton County jail.

"We believe they were together when the fire was set and Eleby is the one who set the fire", Florence said.

"We've spoken to the special agent in charge of Federal Bureau of Investigation, there is no evidence this is related to terrorism", he said Thursday night. Nathan Deal said PVC plastic materials in a vehicle may have caught fire.

What was under the highway?

That news drew cringes from commuters in what is already one of the nation's most congested cities.

Emergency crews are working to fix Atlanta's Interstate 85 after a portion of a bridge collapsed Thursday night, closing 3 miles of highway critical to local travel but also crippling an important regional route serving major metropolitan areas in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama.

The fire started in a pile of "construction materials, equipment and supplies" under the interstate.

Specifically stored there, McMurry said, were HDPE - high-density polyethylene - pipes.

"At this time, we do not have an anticipated duration for the repairs ... but we do know that it is expected to be a time-consuming event", McMurry said. As a result, both I-75 and major surface streets like Cobb Parkway will see heavier than usual traffic.

The pipes are also used in the distribution of natural gas and by telecommunication companies such as AT&T and Google Fiber.

"The longer it's exposed or the higher temperature it's exposed to, the less capacity that steel will have to the point of failure", said Morales.

"Somebody had to start a fire". "Someone had to do it". "It's not like someone would have dropped a match and it started".

"We're as eager to learn the cause of this fire as anyone", he said. They burned for about an hour, sending black smoke into the air - and then the northbound lane of the interstate just fell.

Soon, a massive fireball engulfed the overpass. "It doesn't combust by itself, it needs fuel", Radoszewski told CNN.

But the conflagration wasn't dying fast enough.

Mark McDonough, commissioner of the Georgia State Patrol's Department of Public Safety, is asking drivers to be patient, as member station WABE reports.

By that time, the incident had halted traffic.

Amid the rubble of the fallen pavement, firefighters continued their work. They said they are looking for things that Seattle can avoid.

A few minor dark clouds persist, like the highway collapse in the Atlanta area that will probably make the traveling experience miserable for some fans headed to this game, or the fact that the last few spots of the Opening Day roster remain in the flux as the Braves try to machinate and contort their way forward.

Officials are reporting that the extensive damage to I-85 will take months to fix.

Smoke billows from a section of the overpass. She said she was told to walk despite being disabled, "but it's raining and dark". He said he heard several explosions beneath the bridge, followed by a slow rumbling.

GDOT is diverting all traffic off the interstate.

About six sections and 700 feet of the road - 350 feet northbound and 350 feet southbound - will be removed and replaced, including support columns, according to the state DOT.

Atlanta's awful rush-hour traffic got even worse Friday, the morning after a raging fire underneath Interstate 85 collapsed an elevated portion of the highway and shut down the heavily traveled route through the heart of the city.

The closure comes as hordes of spring break vacationers are poised to drive though the region's urban hub.

He said he didn't hit much traffic going to the airport at 6:00 Friday morning, but he did hit hit coming back.

  • Larry Hoffman