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Two killed when semitrailers explode on I-94 in Wisconsin

SMOKE BILLOWS FROM a semi after a deadly crash Wednesday on Interstate 94 in Caledonia, Wis. Authorities said the semi crashed and exploded and ignited other vehicles on the interstate in southeastern Wisconsin. (Katelyn Planka via AP)

MOUNT PLEASANT, Wis. (AP) — Two semitrailers exploded into flames Wednesday on an interstate in southeastern Wisconsin, killing both drivers and setting other vehicles on fire, authorities said.

Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling said one trailer was southbound on Interstate 94 about 11 a.m. when it hit a construction barrier, overcorrected and crashed onto a median that separated northbound traffic. That caused three northbound cars to crash.

Meanwhile, another semi traveling northbound went into a ditch while trying to avoid hitting the vehicles that had just crashed, Schmaling said. Both trailers burst into flames and set other cars on fire.

Two people in the cars suffered serious injuries and a third was unharmed, the sheriff said. The names of those involved were not immediately released, and the accident remained under investigation.

“It only takes one person to make one small error to have devastating effects like we saw today,” Schmaling said.

The accident happened near Mount Pleasant, about 24 miles south of Milwaukee.

Authorities closed all lanes of the interstate for hours. The sheriff’s office said the northbound lanes reopened early today after repairs were made to the roadway. Southbound lanes reopened late Wednesday.