Two people have died after a fiery crash involving a school bus and three trucks on Interstate 84 west in East Hartford on Monday morning, according to state police, and the resulting highway closure caused traffic problems through the evening rush hour.
Troopers said they were called to I-84 west between exits 55 and 56 around 5:08 a.m. after getting a report of a fatal crash involving multiple vehicles.
One of the vehicles involved in the crash was a tractor-trailer that was fully engulfed in flames, authorities said. Two other tractor-trailers and a school bus were also involved in the crash, police added.
Officers believe one of the trucks rear-ended the school bus.
According to state police, there were no students on the bus at the time of the crash and there were no passengers in any of the trucks.
One of the trucks was carrying paper and the other two were carrying food products, police added.
Footage from the scene showed partially melted and charred pieces of the tractor-trailers and burned debris all over the road. The trucks were nearly unrecognizable after the extensive fire.
The back of the school bus was caved in, its windows were blown out and the fire left most of the once-yellow roof gray.
State police originally said one person had died in the crash. They later said two people died on Monday morning.
Authorities said they cannot release the identities of the people who died until their families are notified. It is unclear which vehicles the two people who died were driving.
The westbound side of I-84 between exits 54 and 51 was closed until around 6:30 p.m.
Route 2 westbound to I-84 was also closed, police said.
The closures caused traffic delays in downtown Hartford, according to a tweet from Mayor Luke Bronin.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the Connecticut State Police C.A.R.S. unit.