After a “mass casualty incident,” both directions of Interstate 70 near the State Route 310 interchange in Licking County are closed.
Around 8:45 am on Tuesday, emergency personnel from Licking County and eastern Franklin County were dispatched to the scene based on a report of an incident. Scanner traffic indicated that a tractor-trailer had collided with a commercial bus carrying dozens of passengers.
Immediate confirmation was not available regarding the types of vehicles involved or whether there were other vehicles besides the tractor-trailer and the bus.
Smoke rising from the incident site is visible in cameras from the Ohio Department of Transportation in the area.
Patients have been transported to at least five regional hospitals: Licking Memorial Hospital, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, OhioHealth Pickerington Methodist Hospital, and Mount Carmel East Hospital. It is currently unknown how many people have been injured or what their conditions are. Several medical helicopters have also been dispatched to the scene.
The bus involved in the incident appears to belong to Pioneer Trails, a family-owned bus business in Millersburg, Holmes County. When asked by dispatch on Tuesday whether any buses from the company were involved in the incident, an employee said it was not their department and hung up on a reporter.
Dispatch categorizes this incident as a “Mass Casualty Incident, Level 3,” indicating that 10 or more people could be injured, and the entire area may require paramedics, firefighting teams, and hospital readiness. The use of the term “casualty” by dispatch does not necessarily imply fatalities.
The highway is closed in both directions as officials assess the situation.
Additional details were not immediately available.