Officials said on Sunday morning that a tanker truck fire forced the closure of a section of Interstate Highway 95 in northeast Philadelphia after an elevated portion of the roadway collapsed. The Philadelphia Fire Department said in a statement that firefighters responded to the scene near the Cottman Avenue exit in northeast Philadelphia around 6:30 a.m. and were able to get the blaze under control within an hour.
The collapse was caused by a tanker truck fire burning under an on-ramp. Officials told the local station that they are unsure what kind of truck it is and that they have been unable to search for a driver inside. Runoff from fuel or gas lines from the burning truck has also caused explosions underground, with a video posted on social media early Sunday appearing to show plumes of black smoke rising above the highway.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney tweeted to avoid the area and plan for alternate travel routes, and thanked first responders for their work. Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro added in a tweet he has been briefed by officials and that first responders and transportation officials were on the scene. and that he and Lt. Gov. Austin Davis were “closely coordinating” with officials in the state, throughout New Jersey and in the federal government.
Meanwhile, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg tweeted he was closely monitoring the situation: “I’ve been in touch with [the Federal Highway Administration] and spoke with Gov. Shapiro to offer any assistance that USDOT can provide to help with recovery and reconstruction.” The National Transportation Safety Board was also monitoring the situation and gathering information.
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