A portion of Interstate 95 in Northeast Philadelphia was closed in both directions Sunday after a tanker truck believed to be carrying gasoline caught fire, causing part of the freeway to collapse, officials said.
A tanker driver was in the off-ramp of I-95 North when a crash or other incident sparked a fire under the freeway lanes, which will travel up, said Brad Rudolph, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
“That building collapsed quickly with the heat of the fire as big as it was,” he said. “Then the south-facing structure was also closed because it was compromised by the fire.”
Mr. Rudolph said.
“I don’t know if it’s a week or two weeks,” he said, adding that his department’s first preference is to “get it open as soon as we can.”
No information was immediately available about the driver. Mr. Rudolph said Pennsylvania State Police They led an investigation into possible deaths or injuries from the fire.
Mr. Rudolph said the cause of the fire is still under investigation, but nothing yet suggests it was intentional. He said the fire broke out on the ramp from I-95 north to Godman Avenue, which exits and passes under the freeway.
“It looks like a car accident,” Mr. Rudolph said. “That slope can be tricky if you’re going at high speeds.”
Derek Pomer, a battalion chief for the Philadelphia Fire Department, said at a news conference Sunday morning that the burst manhole covers were “a result of the flow of some fuel or gas line that may have been compromised by the accident.”
Dominic Mireles, director of the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management, said at a news conference that the agency is concerned about the “environmental impacts” of the fire and the collapse of the Delaware River, which runs parallel to the damaged area. Highway.
The Philadelphia Water DepartmentIt draws on Delaware for some of its supply, saying Sunday afternoon there was “no impact on water quality.”
“Philadelphia Water Department staff are continuing to monitor the situation and are working with other agencies on the emergency response,” it said.
The area affected by the fire included auto shops, construction companies and Four Seasons Total Landscaping, a family-run business then owned by former President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani held a news conference in 2020. The election of President Biden.
All lanes of I-95 between the Woodhaven and Aramingo exits and some nearby streets were closed Sunday afternoon, the city of Philadelphia said. A press release.
The city advised commuters to plan alternate routes for their weekday commutes and encouraged them to use public transportation. State and local agencies are creating detours including Pennsylvania Route 63, Interstate 676 and US Route 1, the city said.
Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro said He was briefed About fire. Federal Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, He said on Twitter He offered federal aid to the governor to “assist in recovery and reconstruction.”
In April, a portion of Interstate 95 in Connecticut was closed after a fuel tanker crashed into a major bridge. The explosion killed one person and sent home heating oil into the River Thames, officials said.
In 2017, a portion of Interstate 85 in Atlanta collapsed due to fire. The contractor who replaced the damaged road, CW MathewsHe said that he stayed for 44 days and worked without interruption and repaired it.