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At least 2 dead after semi explodes on I-94 in Wisconsin

Associated Press

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Smoke billows from a semi after a deadly crash on Interstate 94 in Caledonia, Wis, Wednesday, June 19, 2019. Authorities said the semi crashed and exploded and ignited other vehicles on the interstate in southeastern Wisconsin. (Katelyn Planka via AP)

MOUNT PLEASANT, Wis. (AP) — At least two people are dead after a semi crashed and exploded into flames Wednesday on an interstate in southeast Wisconsin, setting other vehicles on fire and sending dark plumes of smoke into the sky, authorities said.

A WTMJ-TV photographer who witnessed the crash says the semi jumped the median on Interstate 94 about 11 a.m. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported that the accident happened near Mount Pleasant, about 24 miles (38 kilometers) south of Milwaukee.

Photos from the scene indicate the semi plummeted off the edge of the interstate onto a road beneath. Near-black smoke washed across the interstate from the still-burning truck.

Racine County Medical Examiner Michael Payne said two people were killed, and the sheriff reported several injuries but hasn’t provided details.

Authorities closed all lanes of the interstate and transportation officials estimated it would be hours before the scene could be cleared.

A Flight for Life helicopter was called to the scene, but was unable to fly because of adverse weather, Tammy Chatman, a spokeswoman for the service told the Journal Sentinel. There had been scattered rain showers throughout southeastern Wisconsin most of Wednesday morning.

Chatman said Flight for Life is sending one of its ground units to help instead.

Authorities have not yet said what caused to the crash.