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Fiery truck crash in Philadelphia closes stretch of I-95, possibly for months

Interstate 95, the main roadway between the East Coast’s two largest cities, New York City and Philadelphia, will be closed for months after a tanker fire caused a section to collapse. An elevated section of northbound lanes in northeast Philadelphia collapsed, trapping the tanker truck and whoever was inside beneath 500 tons of concrete, steel, and rubble, around 6:20 a.m. on June 11th. Due to the severity of the damage they had to close both North and South traffic. No deaths or injuries were reported, but first responders had yet to get to the tanker truck or any possible occupants, officials said. All lanes of the highway are shut down for about 10 miles between Academy Avenue (exit 32) to the north and the Betsy Ross Bridge (exit 26) to the south, state transportation officials said. 

A disaster declaration will be made Monday, Governor Shapiro said, allowing the state to quickly tap federal funds and start rebuilding the roadway. “We expect that to take a number of months,” he said. Officials urged Philadelphians to avoid the area and plan on alternate routes for Monday’s morning commute as they work out a plan for temporary detours and added public transportation options. State Transportation Secretary Mike Carroll said the segment of freeway carries roughly 160,000 vehicles a day and is most likely the busiest interstate in Pennsylvania. The tanker was carrying some kind of petroleum product. There were 8,500 gallons of product in the tanker, a Coast Guard spokesperson said. The Coast Guard sent a boat to the scene to examine the impact on the water, but it seems no gasoline has made it to the Delaware River. The National Transportation Safety Board said it is coordinating with Pennsylvania State Police in an investigation of the cause of the fire. It was sending a team that includes specialists in motor carrier and hazardous materials safety, highway reconstruction and how first responders reacted to the emergency.

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