SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – Firefighters and highway workers Sunday searched for bodies and worked to remove charred debris from a freeway tunnel north of Los Angeles after a fiery pileup that killed three people and could keep the major interstate highway shut down for days.
The crash late Friday involved five to six big rigs and several passenger cars and sent people fleeing for their lives from the flaming tunnel. At least five of the trucks burst into flames, and the fire spread to the other vehicles. Ten people were injured.
‘It looked like a bomb went off,’ said Los Angeles County firefighter Scott Clark, one of about 300 firefighters who battled the blaze through the night.
Firefighters feared they could find more bodies as they hauled out debris, and hoped to finish the search by Sunday morning, said Deputy Fire Chief John Tripp.
Firefighters began hauling debris out of the tunnel Saturday. Officials hope to reopen the southbound lanes of Interstate 5 by Tuesday morning, but they have been hampered by small lingering fires and concern about how many repairs will have to be made for the tunnel to be safe for the public.