Southbound lanes had just reopened; several vehicles involved
(Update: Multi-vehicle crash near Lava Butte; one reported injury; southbound lanes reopen)
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A work van fire closed U.S. Highway 97 in both directions south of Bend for a time Wednesday morning, followed about 90 minutes later by an injury multi-vehicle crash that again closed the lanes, authorities said.
The fire, reported around 10 a.m., closed the highway in both directions at milepost 149, about nine miles south of Bend, ODOT reported. The agency said northbound lanes had reopened about a half-hour later.
Just minutes after the southbound lanes reopened, five vehicles were in a new crash around 11:30 a.m., with one in a ditch and one injury, unconfirmed police scanner reports indicated. Other occupants reportedly declined transport to the hospital.
With emergency crews again on scene, Deschutes County sheriff's deputies urged drivers to use caution in the area, expect delays and "consider delaying travel until the roadway reopens." One southbound lane reopened again by 12:20 p.m., ODOT reported, and the other about 20 minutes later.
Photos shared by the sheriff's office showed flames coming from the front of the Cascade Heating & Specialties van. An ODOT spokesman said crews reported oxygen and nitrogen containers in the vehicle.
No injuries were reported, Sgt. William Bailey said.
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