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Five Dead in Pileup on Arkansas Interstate

January 9, 1995

MENIFEE, Ark. (AP) _ Eight tractor-trailer rigs and a motor home collided early today in dense fog, triggering explosions and killing at least five people.

A smoldering pile of metal blocked both lanes of Interstate 40 when the fog lifted this morning. All identifying marks had been burned from the trucks’ bodies.

Five trucks were carrying livestock, and many cattle were killed or injured. Crews with a backhoe buried the dead ones in nearby fields, and some surviving animals limped along the side of the road.

The five dead people were all from the tractor-trailers, police said. The motor home was on the front end of the accident and was not severely damaged.

``One of the drivers said it was foggy last night. He topped the hill, he hit his breaks and somebody clipped him. That started the chain reaction,″ Conway County Sheriff Carl Poteete said.

An explosion set cans of paint from one of the trucks on fire. Rolls of newsprint still smoldered eight hours after the 2 a.m. pileup 30 miles northwest of Little Rock.

``It’s the biggest mess you’ve ever seen,″ state police spokesman Wayne Jordan said.

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