WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - A storm drain missing its cover disabled multiple cars on I-295 in Southeast Monday night, including one with a woman and her one-year-old child in it that went up in flames.
Firefighters said the woman and her child were able to exit the burning car but had serious injuries.
A spokesperson for DDOT said the agency responded to reports about a "catch basin that ties into the storm drain system on 295. Catch basins are needed to protect the roads from flooding and to drain water."
In first responder and dispatcher radio traffic from Monday, someone says, "There’s a steel grate missing from the roadway causing accidents."
Someone else says: "MPD is reporting 16 disabled vehicles. There’s something in the roadway disabling vehicles."
The calls for service started coming in around 9:30 p.m. Monday.
In the light of day Tuesday, the char from the burned car was visible as well as the work done by crews to cover the hole in the road.
DDOT tells FOX 5 that a crew was able to temporarily repair the catch basin.
"Additionally, our teams inspected all catch basins on 295 for added measures. Our team found no other structures requiring needed attention," the statement reads.
A spokesperson called what happened a "rarity" and said the investigation will continue into why the cover was off.
The mother and child have not been identified. Police were unable to give an update on their condition Tuesday, but at last check, they were hospitalized with serious injuries.