A section of Interstate 95 collapsed Sunday after a large vehicle fire under a freeway overpass in Philadelphia, blocking traffic in both directions, officials said.there was no immediate report Officials say drivers have been injured or killed.
The incident occurred shortly before 6:30 a.m. ET and sparked a multi-agency response from law enforcement and fire departments. Firefighters initially said they used a hazmat box as a precaution when they started fighting the fire, which resulted in a cloud of dark smoke. Smoke rises over Philadelphia.
Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro said at a news conference Sunday night that the fire was caused by a commercial truck believed to be carrying petroleum-based products. Fire officials said the fire was out as of 5 p.m.
At least one vehicle remains trapped under a collapsed section of highway, Shapiro said.
He said the incident caused “considerable devastation” but there were no reports of motorists traveling on the interstate being injured or killed in the incident. But Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenny said the situation remains fluid.
The governor said authorities are still working to identify people who may have been caught in the fire during the collapse.
Shapiro told reporters that repairs to the collapsed section of the road will take months, and he plans to issue a disaster declaration on Monday to rush funds to expedite the repairs.
Officials said the city’s water supply was not threatened and they were not concerned about the environmental impact of the incident.
Early Sunday morning, flames were seen billowing from the road, and a portion of Interstate 95 remained closed in both directions after the fire was extinguished. CBS Philadelphia reported that the closure spanned a two-mile radius from Allegheny and Castor streets to Academy and Linden streets.
Adjacent to a collapsed northbound overpass, officials said the southbound side was “endangered” by the excessive heat of the blaze, city managing director Tumar Alexander told CBS Philadelphia. “Interstate 95 will be affected for a long time,” he said. for a long time. “
“This morning, a large fire broke out under Interstate 95 near the Cotman Avenue exit in northeast Philadelphia, causing part of the highway to collapse. We closed Interstate 95 in both directions,” said Police spokeswoman Sarah Peterson. The city of Philadelphia said in a statement to CBS News. “The fire is under control, and city and state officials are responding to the impact of the closure on residents and travelers in affected areas. Details will be shared as they become available.”
Philadelphia, state-level and Washington, D.C. government leaders said they were monitoring the situation and would coordinate plans to rebuild the highway.
Leslie Richards, general manager of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), said the city will increase regional rail capacity for certain trains to reduce losses on the highway. He said transport ridership was still below pre-Covid-19 pandemic levels and there was already excess capacity.
admit the collapse TweetPhiladelphia Mayor Jim Kenny urged the public to “avoid the area and plan alternative travel routes.” Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg Said He had already been in touch with Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro and partners at the Federal Highway Administration.
“We are closely monitoring the fire and collapse of Interstate 95 in Pennsylvania,” Buttigieg tweeted. “I have reached out to FHWA and asked Governor Shapiro to provide whatever assistance USDOT can provide for recovery and reconstruction.”
In a statement on Sunday, the FHWA said it “provided support and assistance to state and local governments to enable them to safely reopen this section of I-95 as soon as possible,” adding that “FHWA administrators will be experts will also join us,” he added. Philadelphia will provide federal aid and assistance tomorrow. “
“The president has been briefed on the collapse, and White House officials are contacting the offices of Governor Shapiro and Mayor Kenny to offer assistance,” said White House press secretary Carine Jean-Pierre. . tweeted.
National Transportation Safety Board Said In coordination with the Pennsylvania State Police, a team was dispatched to conduct a safety investigation into the fire and overpass collapse.
I-95 is a major interstate highway that runs along the east coast of the United States from Miami to the Canadian border in Maine. CBS Philadelphia, citing federal traffic records, reported an average of about 125,000 vehicles per day on the section that collapsed on Sunday.
While disrupting traffic, the fire and ensuing road collapse have raised widespread environmental concerns, in part because chemical emissions from fires are impacting local air quality.a— A warning that the air is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, including children, the elderly, and those with certain pre-existing medical conditions — as a result of both chemical releases and ongoing smoke seepage from wildfires , issued to the area of southwestern Pennsylvania. Eastern Canada.
The U.S. Coast Guard is also monitoring a possible leak of 8,500 gallons of vehicle fuel into the nearby Delaware River.
“The tanker certainly may have spilled 8,500 gallons of gasoline, but most of it is on shore,” the Coast Guard said in a statement to CBS News Sunday afternoon. By coastal, the statement said the gas was leaking primarily on land, with the latest reports showing it was “confined to coves” under the overpass.
The statement went on to say that “most of it is at the site and is running into storm sewers”, noting that “there was also a leak into the water”.
“But not enough to have a significant impact on the environment there,” the Coast Guard said. “We’re waiting to hear back from Coast Guard pollution response personnel on the scene. Normally, small amounts in the water will dissipate on their own.”
Late Sunday, Shapiro said there was a “slight sheen” at the entrance to the channel, but the leak soon subsided.
Brendan Riley, director of water operations at the Philadelphia Water Authority, also said Sunday evening that the agency is “not at all concerned about the environmental impact.”
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/i-95-collapse-fire-philadelphia-interstate-overpass-road-closed/ Large vehicle fire in Philadelphia causes part of Interstate 95 viaduct to collapse, closing Interstate