5 killed in fiery crash on I-70 near Bonner Springs

A fiery collision in northeast Kansas has killed five people, injured another and forced authorities to divert traffic off of I-70.

The collision occurred shortly before 2:30 p.m. in the westbound lanes of I-70 not far from the Kansas Turnpike toll plaza, said Rachel Bell, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Turnpike Authority.

A semitrailer truck slammed into the back of an SUV and a sedan, then hit a second semi, Bell said. The two semis burst into flames and became “fully engulfed,” she said.

After the fire was extinguished and investigators were reviewing the scene, they discovered two more vehicles that had been involved in the collision and were destroyed by flames, Bell said.

Two people in the car and two in the SUV were killed in the collision, while one of the drivers of the semis was taken to a hospital. A fifth person was found dead in one of the vehicles discovered after the flames were put out, Bell said.

Thick smoke from the fires prompted “the entire roadway” to be shut down near the intersection with K-7, Bell said.

One lane of eastbound I-70 has reopened to traffic, she said, but westbound lanes will remain closed for several more hours.