Vehicle fire causes I-95 overpass to collapse in Philadelphia, closing interstate

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Large vehicle fire causes portion of I-95 in Philadelphia to collapse, state police sat

Large vehicle fire causes portion of I-95 in Philadelphia to collapse, state police sat
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A large vehicle fire broke out beneath a highway overpass in Philadelphia early Sunday morning, causing one section of the I-95 interstate to collapse and blocking travel in both directions, authorities said.
How the massive blaze erupted in the first place is under investigation. The incident happened before 6:30 a.m. ET and triggered a multi-agency response from law enforcement and fire officials, who had not yet determined which type of vehicle or vehicles were involved in the fire when they spoke at a news conference several hours later.
Fire officials said they initially used a Hazmat box as a precaution when they set out to extinguish the fire, which sent a plume of dark smoke rising up into the sky over Philadelphia, because it was unclear whether the fire originated from a tanker truck or not. So far, there are no confirmed reports of injuries in connection with the fire or the interstate collapse, and authorities do not believe anyone was inside the vehicle or vehicles involved.
Flames could be seen billowing up from the roadway early Sunday, and even after the fire was extinguished, a portion of I-95 remained closed in both directions. Closures spanned a two-mile radius from Allegheny and Castor Avenue to Academy Road and Linden Avenue, CBS Philadelphia reported.
A section of the I-95 interstate highway in Philadelphia collapsed on Sunday morning, after a vehicle fire broke out beneath an overpass.

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Adjacent to the collapsed northbound overpass, officials said the southbound side was “compromised” by excessive heat from the flames, with Tumar Alexander, managing director for the city, telling CBS Philadelphia that “I-95 will be impacted for a long time, for a long time.”

“This morning, a large fire under I-95 near the Cottman Avenue exit in Northeast Philadelphia caused a portion of the highway to collapse. Pennsylvania State Police closed I-95 in both directions around the area,” said Sarah Peterson, a spokesperson for the city of Philadelphia, in a statement to CBS News. “The fire is under control and City and state agencies are responding to address impacts to residents in the area and travelers affected by the road closure. We will share more details as they become available.
Government leaders in Philadelphia, at the state level and in Washington, D.C., were monitoring the situation and said they would coordinate plans to reconstruct the highway.
Acknowledging the collapse in a tweet, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney asked people to “avoid the area and plan for alternative routes of travel.” Meanwhile U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said he had already been in touch with Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro as well as partners at the Federal Highway Administration.
“Closely monitoring the fire and collapse on I-95 in Pennsylvania,” Buttigieg tweeted. “I’ve been in touch with FHWA and spoke with Gov. Shapiro to offer any assistance that USDOT can provide to help with recovery and reconstruction.”
I-95 is a major interstate roadway running along the East Coast of the U.S. from Miami to the Canadian border in Maine. The section that collapsed on Sunday carries about 125,000 vehicles each day on average, CBS Philadelphia reported, citing federal transportation records.
While blocking traffic, the fire and subsequent roadway collapse has ignited broad environmental concerns, due in part to chemical emissions from the blaze affecting air quality in the area. The U.S. Coast Guard is also monitoring the potential for vehicle fuel to leak into the nearby Delaware River.

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