MAINE — Emergency medical helicopters were dispatched Tuesday to an accident involving more than two dozen vehicles on Interstate 95 in Carmel, the Maine State Police said.
Hundreds of motorists are stranded behind the crash, and the Maine Department of Transportation is working on a plan to turn the vehicles around so they can leave the area, state police said.
The early stages of the investigation indicate “blinding sun” may have caused the initial accident around 7:45 a.m., causing a “chain reaction crash” involving about 30 vehicles, police said.
Northbound lanes are closed until at least noon, police said. Carmel is located about 15 miles west of Bangor.
“The public is urged to seek an alternate route,” the MSP statement says.
The crash occurred near mile marker 174, and traffic is being diverted at exit 157 in Newport, police said. The initial report from police said as many as 60 vehicles were involved, but the tally was cut in half in a later update.
There are injuries, police say, but it wasn’t immediately clear how many people were hurt or how badly.
Besides “multiple wreckers” being dispatched from the Bangor area, Maine Forest Rangers and LifeFlight of Maine have sent helicopters to the scene, according to police and CNN affiliate WABI.
A WABI reporter tweeted video of one of the choppers landing near the site. According to state police, a LifeFlight helicopter landed on the highway north of the crash to transport a seriously injured victim to a Bangor hospital.
Four state forest rangers are on the scene “assisting with first-aid, traffic control and scene stabilization,” the agency said in a tweet.
Traffic is reportedly backed up for miles, WABI reported, and authorities could be seen removing injured people from badly damaged vehicles.