Five people were killed in a fiery wreck involving two semi trucks Tuesday afternoon on Interstate 70 just west of Bonner Springs.
The crash involved six vehicles, including the two tractor-trailers.
Kansas Turnpike Authority spokeswoman Rachel Bell said a preliminary investigation indicates that a tractor trailer rear-ended another vehicle and caused the massive fire about 2:30 p.m.
According to Bell, the semi-truck struck a car and an SUV and then struck another semi. Two people in the car and two people in the SUV were killed, Bell said.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Kansas City Star
Both semis were engulfed in flames. One of the semi drivers was taken to the hospital, Bell said.
Initially, it was reported that four people were dead and four vehicles were involved, but authorities discovered an additional two vehicles in the aftermath of the wreckage.
The fifth victim was found as emergency crews cleared the wreck.
According to officers on the scene, one of the vehicles involved was damaged, but the driver was unhurt and able to drive away after speaking with authorities.
One of the other vehicles was wedged between the tractor-trailers.
Bonner Springs Mayor Jeff Harrington said he was in his office when he was informed of the wreck. He offered condolences to the families of the victims.
“It’s such a tragedy,” Harrington said.
The highway was closed in both directions for about two hours, and the westbound lanes by mile marker 218 were closed for several hours after the accident, but those lanes are now reopen.