At least four people were killed and nine others were injured in a violent multi-vehicle crash in Phoenix, authorities said Wednesday.
The crash, which involved a semi-truck carrying milk, occurred around 10 p.m. MT in the eastbound lanes of Loop 202 near Papago Park, the Arizona Department of Public Safety said.
Firefighters who responded to the scene discovered the semi-truck was leaking milk and diesel fuel, as well as a fire inside one of the vehicles involved in the crash, according to the NBC affiliate KPNX from Phoenix. Investigators said the truck was heading east on the highway, did not slow down due to traffic jams in the area of 52nd and Van Buren streets, and struck seven vehicles.
The tank separated from the truck, passed through traffic, knocked down a concrete barrier, landed on the westbound lanes and caught fire, the state agency said.
Four people died at the scene and six others, including four men and two women, were taken to hospital in critical condition, according to Phoenix firefighters. Two other men and a 6-year-old girl were stable.
The identities of the victims were not immediately disclosed by the authorities.
Investigators said there was no sign of depreciation.
Both directions of loop 202 have been closed for some time. While the westbound lanes have reopened, the eastbound lanes are expected to be closed throughout the morning.