NORTH HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Interstate 91 northbound was shut down in North Haven for hours Tuesday after a multi-car accident shortly after 12 noon.
Connecticut State Police tweeted I-91 northbound at exit 9 was closed because there was an accident blocking all lanes.
CTTRAFFIC- I 91 northbound in North Haven, exit 9 is closed with a multicar accident blocking all lanes.
— CT State Police (@CT_STATE_POLICE) January 31, 2017
Fire department units responding southbound on I-91 observed multiple motor vehicle accidents on I-91 northbound, totaling 25-30 cars. Numerous fire department resources from North Haven were used to access dozens of patients. I-91 northbound was immediately shut down at exit 9 to allow emergency vehicles to pass. They also used this space to triage occupants along all lanes of the interstate.
Officials declared the accident a mass casualty incident which prompted the response of Yale-New Haven Hospital physicians to the scene. It also prompted ambulances from nearby towns to be called. Numerous ambulances were staged on Universal Drive and were called to the highway as first responders assessed injuries that may need transportation to the hospital.
Emergency responders encountered numerous motor vehicle accidents ranging from one-car spin-outs to other motor vehicle accidents involving six to eight cars. One of the motor vehicle accidents involved a tanker truck and another required a patient to be extricated from a vehicle.
The incident scene spanned approximately two miles. I-91 northbound at exit 9 remained closed until 2:00 p.m., while cars involved in the accidents were removed from the highway.
Officials say in total, 16 patients were taken to the hospital with varying injuries.