The death toll has risen to two and a third person is in the hospital with life-threatening injuries after the car they were riding in crashed and burst into flames inside the Lowry Hill tunnel on Sunday night.

The crash in the westbound lanes of Interstate 94 occurred about 9:40 p.m. and forced authorities to close the freeway for several hours. The freeway was back open Monday morning.

According to the State Patrol, a 2007 BMW 750 was approaching the Lowry Hill tunnel at a high rate of speed when it struck a concrete median wall. The impact caused the fuel tank to rupture and ignite. The vehicle came to rest inside the tunnel, the patrol said.

A video posted to YouTube shows a car speeding into the tunnel before hitting the left guardrail, sending up a shower of sparks. As the car enters the tunnel, it smashes into the wall, causing a flash of orange fire. The video then shows the car, engulfed in flames, skid to a stop as the tunnel fills with smoke.

The patrol has not released the names of the two victims, but said Demetrius Hart, 24, of Minneapolis, was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center. The patrol did not say if he was the driver or a passenger.

Tim Harlow