An elevated portion of Interstate 95 came crashing down during the early part of Sunday near the city of Philadelphia after a tanker truck transporting flammable cargo ended up catching fire. Officials came out not longer after the incident and revealed the section that collapsed could take several months to rebuild. Pretty scary way to start your morning.
According to a local ABC News affiliate, the blaze started at 6 a.m. beneath I-95 close to the exit located near Cottman Avenue. Fire officials stated that the flames were well under control by the evening hours.
Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro came out and delivered remarks on Sunday evening, stating that he was planning to put out a disaster declaration on Monday to help get federal funds faster for the rebuilding effort and stated there was one vehicle that was still trapped under the collapsed portion of the highway.
“We’re still working to identify any individual or individuals who may have been caught in the fire and the collapse,” he revealed. As of this writing, there were not reports of immediate injuries.
During the press conference, the governor said that the northbound lanes have totally fallen down and the southbound lanes are unstable.
“As has been reported, the northbound side of I-95 has completely collapsed and the southbound side is not structurally sound to carry any traffic over it,” Shapiro remarked.
The report also said that all lanes of the highway located between exits for Woodhaven Road in the northeast part of Philadelphia and Aramingo Avenue in the Port Richmond area have been closed down.
A total of 160,000 vehicles travel on the road every single day. The northbound portion sees, on average, 76,000 vehicles daily, and the southbound area sees almost 83,000 vehicles a day.
Gov. Shapiro then said the repairs for that part of the highway could take quite some time to complete.
“We expect that to take some number of months. We expect it to take that time,” said the governor. “And we will have that specific timeline set forth once the engineers and PennDOT have completed their review to expedite this process and to cut through the red tape.”
Shapiro also noted that the cargo being transported by the truck that caught fire was petroleum based.
“Preliminary reports indicate that a commercial truck carrying a petroleum based product was the source of the fire,” he added during the press conference. “We’re still working to identify any individual or individuals who may have been caught in the fire and the collapse.”
At this time, it’s not known if the driver was still inside the vehicle when the blaze started.
#BREAKING City and fire sources tell me the tanker on fire was carrying 87 Octane Fuel. Possibly some 8,500 gallons inside at time of fire. Philadelphia city leaders are in touch with Governor Josh Shapiro. @6abc #Philly #Tanker #Fire pic.twitter.com/f6ooSJr6Vn
— Sharrie Williams (@WilliamsSharrie) June 11, 2023
Explosions were heard throughout the area as fumes from the fire could be seen seeping into manholes.
Featured image taken from screenshot of embedded video.
"*" indicates required fields