SPRINGFIELD, ILL (WICS/WRSP) — We have now received the audio call recordings from first responders from the I-55 crash earlier this month.
The crash killed eight people injured 37, and a total of 72 vehicles are known to have been involved in the crash.
ISP said the crash was caused by excessive winds, which blew dirt from fields across the highway.
ISP sent us 15 audio recordings. They include phone calls made by the police to first responders on the scene, towing companies, and calls from concerned family members about loved ones potentially involved in the crash.
"We’ve probably got a couple of hundred yards of crash scene here, maybe more than that, a quarter mile or so. We can’t get to some of the vehicles, several of them are on fire," the recording said.
First responders responded to the over 70-vehicle crash on both lanes of the interstate. They reported zero visibility, semi-trailers on fire, and multiple injuries.
"We just had another semi-trailer ignite," the recording said.
These recordings show first responders also asking for more supplies such as N-95 masks and water bottles. You can hear them on the scene being asked to put on the masks.
"To anyone on the scene, if you have an N-95 mask, you need to start putting them on instead of breathing all this dust," the recording said.
ISP said they had some first responders on the scene for multiple hours.
First responders said with the amount of dust on the scene, more safety supplies were needed.
"Can you pick up probably at least a box or two of more N-95 masks? We need to keep switching these out with the amount of dust that’s in here...Are there any units on the scene needing a new N-95 mask or bottle of water? I just had multiple cases dropped off," the recording said.
ISP said it took hours to clean up the scene and transport people to local hospitals.
You can hear first responders concerned about the conditions on the scene.
"Do you know if we’re working on a plan to get relief out here for units that have been working the scene for an extended time? Fire is working on rotating all their personnel out just to get some individuals out of this dust and the environment here," the recording said.
In these recordings, you can also hear state police coordinating tow trucks to remove vehicles from the scene and where they should be brought.
State police were also coordinating which roads were shut down during the crash and how to get emergency vehicles on the scene.
To listen to the audio calls, click here.