Massive fire on Atlanta highway causes traffic holdup

Jamal Robertson

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On March 30, many drivers on Interstate 85 in Atlanta were surprised to see flames billowing on the road in front of them. The fire occurred at 7 p.m. and led to firefighters and policeman working together, attempting to lead the frantic traffic away from the area. The highway collapsed around 30 minutes after the fire began, which means that the interstate will be out of commission for several weeks.

The fire itself was a 40-feet wall of fire that made lasting damage to the highway and the area around it. “Power lines were falling and arcing heavily and falling in the streets,” said Cortez Stafford, a spokesperson for the Atlanta Fire Department. The collapse of the bridge led to traffic jams that were 5 or more miles long. For the foreseeable future, each of the 5 lanes will be closed while the highway undergoes repair. Many social media users have posted images of the event, showing the fire beneath them and the cars materializing from the black smoke.

The fire began from an unknown cause, yet created an extreme interruption in the highway traffic. Officials believe that PVC products became inflamed, leading to the fire. Kasim Reed, Mayor of Atlanta, said that there is no evidence that the fire was related to terrorism. An estimated 250,000 people travel the highway daily, meaning that many people must find different paths to areas of interest if their original path included the collapsed road. In the nearby DeKalb school district, classes were cancelled for the following day. In an effort to further help the transportation, Atlanta’s rail and bus system, MARTA, will offer extended service for the upcoming weekend.

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Massive fire on Atlanta highway causes traffic holdup