OCTOBER 18, 2006 - Posted at 8:55 a.m. CDT, updated at 9:57 a.m. CDT, updated at 11:29 a.m., updated at 2:46 p.m.
FORREST CITY, AR - One person is dead as the result of a wreck on Interstate-40 at Forrest City this morning, which prompted the temporary closure of part of the interstate, as well as the evacuation of two nearby college campuses.
Sources say the accident occured shortly before 7 a.m. when a westbound tractor trailer rig struck another 18-wheeler that was parked alongside the interstate between the exit to Crowley's Ridge Technical College and a nearby rest area. Both rigs caught fire as a result of the wreck.
Sources report one fatality at this time, and I-40 traffic in the area was being re-routed to Highway 70. However, traffic in the eastbound lanes has since been re-opened to traffic.
Students at Crowley's Ridge Technical College and East Arkansas Community College were evacuated from their respective campuses due to smoke and fumes from the fires. However, the East Ark campus re-opened to classes at 10 a.m.
The nearby Forrest City Medical Center was also placed on lockdown due to the possibility of toxic fumes from the fire. Hospital officials took action to prevent outside air from entering the facility, but no one was evacuated.