Mississippi Task Force 1 members were called to assist in recovery efforts after a section of roadway on Highway 26 in George County collapsed late Monday night.

Two people were killed and 10 others injured when a 75-foot span of the highway gave way around 10 p.m., sending seven vehicles plunging 20 to 30 feet into a ditch.

According to an update from DeSoto County, MST1 was called in to help with the recovery of two deceased victims from a mangled vehicle.

Task Force members used ladders and ropes to get down to the ravine, and worked alongside the crane company to rig and remove the seven vehicles.

The recovery process was extremely difficult because many of the vehicles were stacked on top of each other.

Mississippi Task Force 1, which includes personnel from DeSoto County EMA, Southaven FD, Olive Branch FD, Lafayette County EMA, Tupelo FD, Corinth FD, Water Valley FD, Amory FD, and Mississippi Fire Academy, was deployed to the Gulf Coast over the weekend to assist in search and rescue operations in the wake of Hurricane Ida, which slammed Louisiana and the Mississippi Coast on Sunday bringing flooding, a strong storm surge, and winds over 150 mph.

The 35-member team specializes in swift water and residential rescues, and conduced several water rescues from homes and vehicles over the last 24 hours, as well as assisted residents who were trapped in their homes by fallen trees.

The team is lead by DeSoto County EMA Director Chris Olson and Deputy Task Force Leader Ben McMinn.

The team is expected to begin demobilizing on Wednesday if the river and flash flood threat subsides.


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