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The Latest: Multiple people killed in pileup near Denver

April 26, 2019

DENVER (AP) — The Latest on a multiple-vehicle crash and fire that closed Interstate 70 west of Denver (all times local):

10 p.m.

Police say multiple people were killed and several others were injured in a fiery pileup that involved 15 vehicles on Interstate 70 west of Denver.

Ty Countryman with the Lakewood Police Department confirmed Thursday night that more than one person was killed in the crash. He did not have an exact death toll.

Six others were hospitalized after the crash, which happened when a tractor-trailer headed east down a hill slammed into slower traffic during rush hour Thursday afternoon and sparked a massive fire. Video footage from a news helicopter showed flames whipping off the vehicles and what appeared to be lumber spilled across the interstate.

A towering plume of black smoke was seen for miles as firefighters doused the burned-out shells of several vehicles.

West Metro Fire Rescue tweeted that a firefighter suffered minor injuries when he was hit by debris, possibly from an exploding tire.

The highway is expected to be closed for several hours.

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6:40 p.m.

At least one person was killed and several others were injured in a large crash and fire that involved 15 vehicles on Interstate 70 west of Denver.

Ty Countryman with the Lakewood Police Department says a tractor-trailer headed east down a hill crashed into slower traffic Thursday afternoon and sparked a massive fire. Video footage from a news helicopter showed flames whipping off the vehicles and what appeared to be lumber spilled across the interstate.

A towering plume of black smoke was seen for miles as firefighters doused the burned-out shells of several vehicles.

The crash happened during rush hour on a stretch of the interstate that passes through a busy business district that includes a popular mall.

Countryman says investigators are trying to determine if brake failure or mechanical problems prevented the truck from stopping.

A dozen cars and three tractor-trailers were involved.

Tamara Rollison, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Transportation, says crews are inspecting a nearby bridge for damage. The interstate is expected to be closed for several hours.

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5:20 p.m.

Firefighters are battling a massive blaze involving multiple vehicles on Interstate 70 west of Denver.

Transportation officials closed the interstate as firefighters sprayed the burning vehicles, including multiple tractor-trailers, with water on Thursday afternoon. Video footage from a news helicopter showed flames whipping off the vehicles and what appear to be lumber or plastic pipe spilled across the interstate.

It’s unclear what caused the crash on the stretch of interstate that passes through a busy business district that includes a popular mall.

KMGH-TV reports Lakewood police say multiple people were injured in the crash, including one person who was burned. No deaths have been reported.

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