Fire under I-95 in Philadelphia causes section to collapse, closing freeway in both directions

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A large vehicular fire under an elevated section of Interstate 95 in Philadelphia has caused much of the freeway to collapse, closing the freeway in both directions, authorities said.

Video from the scene showed a massive slab covering an entire section of the northbound lanes collapsed onto the surface roadway in northeast Philadelphia. Officials said there were no immediate reports of injuries.

Capt. Derek Bowmer of the Philadelphia Fire Department said emergency crews responding shortly before 6:30 a.m. Sunday to a crash report discovered heavy fire from one or more vehicles. Initial reports indicated the vehicle may be a tanker, but officials said that has yet to be confirmed. The fire was reportedly brought under control.

Bowmer said the northbound lanes were gone and the southbound lanes were “compromised” due to the heat from the fire. He also said runoff from the fire or possibly compromised gas lines were causing explosions underground. Officials said they were also concerned about the environmental impacts of runoff into the nearby Delaware River.

“Today is going to be a long day. And obviously, with 95 departures up north and questionable down south, it’s going to be even longer than that,” said Dominick Mireles, director of the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management. Heavy construction equipment would be needed to start clearing the debris, he said.

The Emergency Management Office said other streets were closed for the response and urged people to avoid the area. They also said they planned to launch a drone to assess the damage.


This story corrects the spelling of the official’s first name in the 3rd paragraph.

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