Two people have been killed and at least 10 others injured when their vehicles plunged into a deep hole where a highway collapsed after Hurricane Ida blew through Mississippi.
Torrential rain may have caused the collapse, and the drivers may not have seen that the roadway in front of them had disappeared on Monday night, Mississippi Highway Patrol Captain Cal Robertson said.
"Some of these cars are stacked on top of each other," he said on Tuesday. Seven vehicles were involved, including a motorcycle. A crane was brought in to lift them out of the hole.
Local media reports state troopers, emergency workers and rescue teams responded to Highway 26 west of Lucedale, about 96 kilometres northeast of Biloxi, to find both the east and westbound lanes collapsed.
Robertson said the hole is around 15 to 18 metres long and six to nine metres deep.
The identities and conditions of the of those involved in the accident have not yet been released.
More than 20 centimetres of rain fell in the area during Ida, according to the National Weather Service.
Between 3100 and 5700 vehicles drive along the stretch of two-lane highway on an average day, according to Mississippi Department of Transportation data.
Hurricane Ida blasted ashore on Sunday as a Category 4 storm, one of the most powerful ever to hit the US mainland. It knocked out power to much of southeast Louisiana and south Mississippi, blowing roofs off buildings and reversing the flow of the Mississippi River.
Australian Associated Press