- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The westbound lanes of Interstate 26 west of Columbia have reopened after a series of wrecks, including one that ignited huge flames and black plumes of smoke.

Officials say at least eight cars and two other vehicles were involved in the wreck early Wednesday morning. Several people were taken to hospitals, although none of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening.

South Carolina Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. David Jones said the westbound lanes reopened late Wednesday morning. But Jones said it would be midafternoon before the eastbound lanes could carry traffic.

The fire from a fuel tanker was so hot that it damaged the pavement, which transportation department crews had to repair. There was also damage to the wall separating the lanes.

The road was blocked between exits 104 and 106.

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