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Usually, an auto accident wouldn’t make big headlines, but this one did. Thursday morning, a tractor-trailer and tanker truck collided, and the tanker, carrying nearly 8,500 gallons of gas, burst into flames. The fiery inferno melted an overpass that must be demolished and rebuilt. It also shut down both sides of the highway, which happens to be Interstate 95.

Why is this accident significant?

Interstate 95 is a major highway along the East Coast. It connects Maine with Florida and runs through all eastern states in between. This highway is a major road connecting New England and New York. It will be shut down during reconstruction. It’s traveled by millions of drivers every year and is a major part of many people’s daily commute.

How bad was this accident?

The tanker truck hit the tractor-trailer semi-truck and a passenger vehicle near Exit 15 near the Fairfield Avenue overpass. Crews bgan work demolishing and rebuilding the overpass at 3 am on Friday, May 3. Interstate 95 will also need repaving after this accident.

Thankfully, no injuries occurred to vehicle passengers as a result of the accident.

“The heat from the burning fuel compromised some of the bridge, so that bridge is going to have to come down, and that demolition is going to start first thing tomorrow morning.”

Governor Ned Lamont, Thursday after the accident
Crash Fire I-95, Tanker truck and tractor-trailer
Crash Between Gas Tanker and Tractor-Trailer Caused Massive Fire on I-95 | Daily Times, Chester Fire Department

The morning rush came to a standstill after this accident

Although the accident didn’t result in injuries, cleaning up such a spill and fire creates serious problems. The cleanup efforts caused traffic slowdowns during the Thursday morning rush into New York City for dozens of miles.

As expected, many secondary roads bacame backed up. These roads can’t handle the massive amount of traffic flowing from I-95. Semi-truck drivers had to find alternate routes, one of which has underpasses that are too low for them to get through.

The cleanup requires efforts from several agencies

A massive accident, such as this, requires many involved agencies. Firefighters used foam to put out the fire. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection ensures runoff remiains in a retention pond. There was danger of the chemical from the cleanup seeping into the Norwalk River. Thankfully, these agencies ensured this didn’t happen.

In addition to putting out the fire and beginning cleanup, crews offloaded nearly 4,000 gallons of unburnt gas from the tanker. Utility crews also began efforts to replace downed wires, which caused some outages in the area.

This accident has a lasting impact on traffic in the area

This flaming collision will cause long-term issues in the area while road crews begin to replace the compromised overpass. This means traffic may be much slower going into New York City, and many commuters may need to find alternate routes to and from work.

Source: New York Post