Fuel spill on Florida highway sparks fireball which leaves seven dead

Horror on the highway: At least seven killed after two big rigs collide and ignite a massive fireball on Florida freeway that engulfs four vehicles, including a ‘van full of children on their way to Disney World’

  • Two big rigs and two passenger vehicles collided spilling 50 gallons of diesel across the Interstate 75 around a mile south of Alachua, near Gainesville
  • Some of those caught up in the crash are thought to be a group of children who were heading to Disney World
  • Eight others were taken to the hospital, some with critical injuries
  • Five of those who died were in the passenger van and one was in one of the crashed tractor-trailers, according to reports
  • The horror crash, in the northbound lanes, closed part of the highway in both directions and caused major delays 

At least seven people have been killed and eight more injured after a huge fuel spill on Interstate 75 in Florida sparked a massive fireball following a crash between four vehicles.

Two big rigs and two passenger vehicles collided spilling 50 gallons of diesel across the Florida highway, sparking the blaze that killed seven.

Some of those caught up in the crash are thought to be a group of children who were heading to Disney World.

Horrifying footage from the scene showed the huge fire engulfing several motors and it was so intense the flames damaged parts of the road around a mile south of Alachua, near Gainesville.

Eight other people were taken to the hospital, some with critical injuries, according to reports.

Flames engulf vehicles after a fiery crash along Interstate 75 about a mile south of Alachua, near Gainesville, Fla. Highway officials say at least seven people have died after the crash

Two big rigs and two passenger vehicles collided spilling 50 gallons of diesel across the Florida highway leaving eight more injured 


Debris, including personal property and vehicle parts, were left scattered across the highway and the fire was so intense the flames damaged parts of the road

Emergency crews extinguished the fire and said they were treating the crash as a homicide investigation.

Two tractor trailers, a van and a midsize sedan were involved in the mid afternoon crash.

Alachua County Sheriff’s spokesman Art Forgey said they were working to verify dispatch records which indicated one vehicle carried a group of children who were heading to Disney World.


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Others had been traveling with the same group but were not involved in the accident, according to reports.

The Gainsville Sun reports five of those who died were in a passenger van and one was in one of the crashed tractor-trailers. It is not known of they were the driver or a passenger.

Authorities said debris, including personal property and vehicle parts, were left scattered across the road.

Spokesman Lieutenant Patrick Riordan, said: ‘There’s going to be families that need to be notified that their loves ones have perished.’

He said it is unclear whether the victims were killed in the wreck or whether they burned in the fire, which would make identification more difficult.

Lieutenant P.V. Riordan told NBC News: ‘There was significant damage with the two tractor trailers and with that much abrasion, I’m not surprised that we had a fire.

‘I think we’ve got a long night ahead of us. We’ve got a lot of debris, we’ve got a lot of damage to the road. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us with regard to the investigation.’ 

Emergency crews work on those injured by the crash after a helicopter arrived to search for any victims who may have been in nearby woods

Police survey the wreckage of the crash after it closed the highway in both directions

This image taken from a Florida 511 traffic camera shows the fiery crash along Interstate 75

The horror crash, in the northbound lanes, closed part of the highway in both directions and caused major delays.

Southbound lanes were also closed to keep a route open for first responders, according to the Alachua County Sherriff’s office.

They said the emergency ‘required all hands on deck.’

A helicopter arrived to search for any victims who may have been in nearby woods.

Eyewitness Nicole Towarek told The Gainsville Sun: ‘The heat, it was insane.’  

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