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DOTD waiting to inspect Atchafalaya Basin Bridge

Posted at 7:55 PM, Aug 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-27 22:05:55-04

Tonight, we're learning new details about the crash and victims on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge Monday afternoon.

According to detectives, one crash caused a chain reaction of wrecks involving three 18-wheelers and several other vehicles.

Christopher McGee of Florida was inside one of those semi-trucks. He was killed when his truck burst into flames.

Many injuries were reported at the scene. Some people had to be transported to hospitals, but an exact number of injuries is still unclear.

Emergency crews have been working all day to try and get the road cleared.

DOTD says the Basin Bridge westbound will likely be closed the rest of the evening and part of Wednesday morning.

Once the bridge is cleared, DOTD can send their crew to inspect the bridge.

Bill Oliver with DOTD said, "You have to be able to look at everything. Everything under that bridge is critical and you have to be under the bridge to get a close inspection and really look at the concrete to make sure that everything is okay."

When DOTD has clearance, they'll bring in a vehicle where they can place a platform under the bridge.

"We not only inspect what's on top, but we have to get under that bridge to make sure there is no damage underneath to the concrete deck or girders under the bridge. Everything has to be safe for traffic," Oliver said.

Oliver said it's best for the inspection to be done during daylight.

"If we tried to use lights, there would be shadows and things we couldn't see. You really need to have natural light to see everything to make sure you spot any kind of damage."

Once the inspection is complete, DOTD will know if they need to make emergency repairs.