Speed Reads

Crime and punishment

3 arrested in connection to Atlanta's highway collapse and fire

Three people have been arrested in connection to the fire which caused a section of I-85 in Atlanta to collapse during rush hour Thursday night. All three are believed to be homeless, and at least one, Basil Eleby, is suspected of intentionally setting the road on fire.

It is unusual for roads to burn at a sustained heat high enough to produce a collapse like that observed in Atlanta, but not impossible. "With fires, especially fires that burn for long periods and with high heat, you can see structures, anything from buildings to bridges, can have their material properties degrade," said Lauren Stewart, a structural engineer at Georgia Tech.

Eleby has been charged with first-degree criminal damage to property, while the other two arrested have been charged with criminal trespassing. Authorities have not suggested a motive for the fire, though terrorism is not suspected. No one was injured when the highway collapsed, and an investigation is ongoing.