OAN’s Brooke Mallory
11:23 AM – Sunday, June 11, 2023
According to officials, a busy and frequently traveled part of I-95 in Philadelphia collapsed on Sunday morning after a tanker truck burst into flames underneath it.
The enormous smokey fire broke out around 6 a.m. near the Cottman Avenue exit in the Tacony area, right beneath a northbound flyover. According to ABC, parts of the overpass were turned to rubble when the section of key roadway fell.
Due to the highway disaster, all interstate lanes were closed between the exits of Woodhaven Road in northeast Philadelphia and Aramingo Avenue in the Port Richmond district.
“Today’s going to be a long day,” said Dominick Mireles, director of Philadelphia’s Office of Emergency Management. “And obviously with 95 northbound gone and southbound questionable, it’s going to be even longer than that. The roadway’s gone.”
According to Philadelphia Fire Department Captain Derrick Bowmer, the fiery truck caused explosions underground, with flames streaming out of blown-off manholes.
Mark Fusetti, a retired Philadelphia police sergeant, said he was driving on Interstate 95 to the Philadelphia International Airport when he noticed the black smoke rising over the freeway.
Fusetti told the press that he saw a noticeable “dip” appear on the roadway, with traffic stopping before the northbound lanes collapsed.
“It was crazy timing… For it to buckle and collapse that quickly, it’s pretty remarkable,” Fusetti said.
Mireles said the situation was still bustling later on Sunday, with the devastation likely to linger for a while.
Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro (D-Pa.) said in a statement that he has been updated on the issue and has advised locals to avoid that stretch of highway.
“For now, please avoid the area and follow the direction of the first responders on the scene,” Shapiro said.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg claimed that he is following the situation and has spoken with Governor Shapiro and the Federal Highway Administration to “offer any assistance that USDOT can provide to help with recovery and reconstruction.”
The city is evaluating the incident and labeling it as a hazmat issue, with health officials attempting to establish the environmental impact of the fire and flow into the neighboring Delaware River.
Officials have yet to reveal the cause of the fire or whether anyone was injured. The city will reportedly send a drone over the affected area sometime on Sunday night to assess the damage.
Stay informed! Receive breaking news blasts directly to your inbox for free. Subscribe here. https://www.oann.com/alerts