3 arrested in Atlanta fire and overpass collapse

In this aerial image made from a video provided by WSB-TV, a large fire that caused an overpass on Interstate 85 to collapse burns in Atlanta, Thursday, March 30, 2017. Witnesses say troopers were telling cars to turn around on the bridge because they were concerned about its integrity. Minutes later, the bridge collapsed. (WSB-TV via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT, ATLANTA TV OUT
ATLANTA (AP) – The man suspected of starting a raging fire that collapsed a portion of Interstate 85 a few miles north of downtown Atlanta has been charged with arson.

The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office says bond was set at $200,000 for 39-year-old Basil Eleby during a hearing Saturday.

He faces charges of first-degree arson and first-degree criminal damage to property. The arson charge is new. Eleby’s next court appearance is set for April 14.

Deputy Insurance Commissioner Jay Florence said Eleby was arrested Friday along with Sophia Bruner and Barry Thomas. Bruner and Thomas were charged with criminal trespass.

Eleby has a lengthy criminal history with past charges that include possession and sale of cocaine, criminal trespass and simple battery.

The fire on Thursday evening crippled a major traffic artery in a city already known for dreadful rush-hour congestion.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.  All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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