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I-75 pileup: Southbound lanes closed after more than 40 vehicles crash, dozens of people hurt

6:38 PM, Oct 5, 2012   |    comments
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WTSP) -- The Florida Highway Patrol is on scene of a major crash involving more than 40 vehicles on Interstate 75 southbound, near mile marker 213. All southbound lanes are currently closed.

The crash happened shortly after 3 p.m. The Florida Highway Patrol says based on preliminary information, 46 vehicles were involved in at least seven crashes on the overpass at University Parkway, near the Manatee/Sarasota County line.

Two people were flown to Bayfront Medical Center as trauma alerts and at least 27 others were taken by ground to area hospitals. Sky 10 video showed people still being transported to the hospital, more than 90 minutes after the crash.

There are no known fatalities at this time.

Witnesses tell 10 News there was a small but very strong storm in the area at the time of the crash.

Southbound traffic is being detoured onto University Parkway and then allowed to re-enter the interstate on the other side of the overpass. The FHP estimates the interstate will be closed for at least three more hours.

Northbound traffic is flowing freely at this time.

The Sarasota County Fire Department has 18 units on scene, with the Manatee County Fire Department assisting.

A tanker involved in the crash appears to be leaking liquid calcium, which is not considered to be hazardous.

10 News will continue with updates as they become available.

WTSP

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