Aerial photo of the pile up near New Orleans by the Lousiana State Police.
27 Oct 2023

Super fog from forest fires caused massive pile up on highway - 168 cars involved - eight dead


At least eight people have died after a "super fog" of smoke from forest fires combined with dense fog caused several major car accidents in southern Louisiana in the US. In total, at least 168 vehicles were involved, AP reports.

The low visibility on Wednesday october 25, was attributed to a so-called "super fog," a mixture of wildfire smoke and fog with visibility only as high as 10 feet, CBS affiliate WWL-TV reported.

At least 63 people have been injured in the pile up, multiple collision accident near New Orleans, according to The Guardian. 

The death toll could rise as rescue workers continue to search for victims at the crash sites, Louisiana State Police said in a statement.

Videos and photos on social media show a long stretch of damaged and burned cars on Interstate 55 near New Orleans. Something that made it difficult for rescue efforts to reach the injured.

The sheriff in the area, Mike Tregre, tells CNN that emergency services and paramedics had to walk to the victims and the burning cars as the road was "completely blocked".

Fox Weather has several videos of the incident. 

According to CBS News, more than 25 people were taken to hospitals with injuries ranging from critical to minor. Police said 63 people were injured in the crash.

Portions of I-55 reopened Tuesday afternoon, as tow trucks and emergency cleanup crews continued to remove wreckage from the crash site, according to WWL-TV. 

Vehicles were crushed, piled atop each other and engulfed by flames. Some people got out of their vehicles and stood on the side of the road or on the roofs of their cars looking in disbelief at the disaster, while others cried out for help, reports FireRescue1. 

The National Weather Service said there were multiple wetland fires in the region. Smoke from the fires mixed with fog to create a “super fog.” Visibility improved as the fog lifted, according to the agency, but similarly dangerous conditions could occur in the coming days.


Photo Credit: Aerial photo of the pile-up near New Orleans by the Lousiana State Police.