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Dozens of vehicles in chain-reaction accidents on foggy bridge

December 31, 1996 GMT

NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ A bus and dozens of other vehicles smashed into each other in a series of chain-reaction wrecks on a fog-shrouded highway bridge during today’s morning rush hour.

``Westbound, there’s reportedly a Greyhound bus with nine vehicles and a possible fatality. Eastbound, up to 50 cars with a possible fatality,″ said police spokeswoman Ruth Asher.

Police closed the Interstate 10 twin span, a 5-mile stretch of highway across one end of Lake Pontchartrain between New Orleans and Slidell.

Dense fog that covered much of the area during the rush hour had begun clearing by late morning.

Motorists who were stuck on the bridge called WWL-AM on their cellular phones. One, who identified himself only as Jim, said a St. Tammany Parish sheriff’s deputy told him there was a 20-car pileup in front of his car in the eastbound lanes, and as many as 60 cars involved in wrecks behind him.