Two big rigs and two passenger vehicles collided, causing diesel fuel to spill across a Florida highway Thursday, igniting a massive fire that took the lives of seven people, including children, according to authorities.
At least seven others were critically injured, CBS Gainesville affiliate WGFL-TV reports.
The accident took place at 3:42 pm on Interstate 75, approximately a mile south of Alachua, near Gainesville.
The crash involved two tractor-trailers, a sedan, and a passenger van, according to Florida Highway Patrol troopers. The two tractors and the sedan collided and combusted into flames.
The fire, which damaged parts of the road, intensified by 50 gallons of leaked diesel which was extinguished by emergency crews, Alachua County Fire Rescue reported.
Authorities are reportedly investigating the crash as a homicide, but have yet to provide further details as to why they have concluded foul play to be the cause of the tragedy.
Identifying the victims of the crash is difficult, as authorities are still unable to determine whether victims were killed in the wreck or burned in the fire, Lieutenant Patrick Riordan told CBS.
“There’s going to be families that need to be notified that their loved ones have perished,” he said.