A part of northbound I-95 in Philadelphia collapsed after a tanker truck caught fire underneath the highway on Sunday morning. According to City officials, the damage which had resulted to major traffic diversion could take months to repair.
Photos and videos from the scene showed huge plumes of smoke billowing from the interstate, which runs north to south from the Canadian border in Maine to Miami, Florida.
The commercial tanker truck, was carrying a fuel-based product and according to Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro in a news conference on Sunday afternoon, was still trapped under the collapsed highway.
No death or injury has been reported so far.
Shapiro said the highway would take several months to be repaired and open to use. He also said the state was working with Federal partners to seek for better alternative ways to connect the roadway beyond detours.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Secretary Mike Carroll also said that the destroyed section of I-95 Highway was “likely the busiest interstate in the commonwealth,” with anout 160,000 vehicles plying the road daily.
Though the fire has been contained, the Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney in a news conference, still asked residents and others to avoid the area.
“In addition to road closures, we expect delays of trash collection and SEPTA bus routes in the area.”
“I found myself thanking the Lord that no motorists who were on I-95 were injured or died,” he said, adding it was a “devastating site – one that our first responders, law enforcement and others contained very, very quickly.” he added.
The main cuase behind the tanker explosion has not been discovered. Derek Bowmer, battalion chief for the Philadelphia Fire Department said that explosions around the highway collapse were caused by “runoff of maybe some fuel or gas lines that could have been compromised by the accident. He also reported fire coming out from the surrounding manholes.
The exact cost of repairing the I-95 highway has not been ascertained but the US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg pledged its support to aid the state build back the major road.