Seven people were killed and at least seven people were injured Thursday afternoon in a fiery crash on Interstate 75 north of Gainesville, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
The crash was reported shortly before 3:45 p.m. in the southbound lanes of I-75 at mile marker 393 and involved two tractor-trailers, a passenger van and a car, Lt. Patrick Riordan said.
Both directions of the interstate were closed because a large amount of personal property, vehicle parts and burned vehicles were strewn across the road, Riordan said. Northbound lanes have since reopened.
Firefighters said multiple people have critical injuries. They said a tractor-trailer caught fire during the crash, but the blaze has been extinguished.
Authorities said the fire was ignited after about 50 gallons of diesel spilled onto the highway.
A spokesman for the Florida Highway Patrol told The Associated Press that their top priorities were to conduct a thorough investigation and to identify the deceased victims.
A helicopter arrived to search for any victims who may have been in nearby woods.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.