New Lenox, IL — Two people are dead and three others are critically injured after two vehicles slammed into an oil pipeline that sparked a fiery explosion, and oil fire that burned for hours on Saturday, March 3, 2012, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.
The crash occurred at 2:05 a.m. at an Enbridge Energy pipeline located in an industrial park east of Schoolhouse Road and south of Old Plank Road Trail.
According to reports, a Ford Mustang and a SUV were apparently riding side by side when they drove through a chain-link fence at the end of a dead-end road, where they traveled for about 125 feet, before slamming into the oil pipeline.
The crash set off the crude oil explosion and fire that burned until 5 p.m., and could be seen for at least a half-mile. The pipeline also appeared to have “sheared off” the top of the Mustang.
The Mustang was carrying two people inside, while the SUV was transporting three others.
Responding emergency crews rushed three men to Silver Cross Hospital for medical treatment. Two of the victims were transferred—one via helicopter— to the burn unit at Loyola Medical Center in Maywood.
Rescue crews were unable to reach the two people inside the Mustang because of the intense flames and heat. As of Saturday afternoon, the bodies still hadn’t been recovered.
The identities of the victims are being withheld at this time.
It is unknown why the vehicles drove through the fence and into the pipeline. Investigations are underway.
The Enbridge Pipeline is an oil pipeline that transports crude oil from Canada to the United States, according to Wikipedia.
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