At least 52 people were injured Friday and Interstate 75 was closed southbound at University Parkway at the Manatee-Sarasota county line following a multi-vehicle crash involving 47 vehicles. The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office reported serious injuries but no fatalities as of 5 p.m. Friday afternoon. There were at least two extrications including three Bayflighted to Bay Front Medical Center in St. Petersburg, the sheriff’s office reported. “There is possibly a tanker leaking liquid calcium which I understand is not considered hazardous,” sheriff’s office spokeswoman Wendy Rose said. The Sarasota County Fire Department had 18 units on the scene with Manatee County Fire Department also providing assistance. Red Cross was called in to assist with firefighter rehab at the scene. Two Charlotte County Fire/EMS vehicles headed to Venice to help man the station at Center Road after Venice emergency vehicles went to help out at the accident scene, according to Dee Hawkins, spokeswoman for Charlotte County Fire/EMS. Patients were evaluated and transported to area hospitals. All area hospitals were notified. Southbound traffic was rerouted at State Road 70 in Bradenton. The Florida Highway Patrol estimated the interstate would be closed for three hours or more. Florida Highway Patrol worked to clear the area and motorists were asked to avoid the area.
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