A fiery crash involving tanker carrying gas closes I-95 in Connecticut in both directions

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NORWALK, Conn. (AP) — Both sides of I-95, the East Coast’s main north-south highway, were shut down in southwestern Connecticut — causing “horrendous” traffic jams — following a fiery early morning crash Thursday involving a passenger car, a tractor-trailer and a tanker truck carrying 8,500 gallons (about 32,000 liters) of gasoline.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said there were no serious injuries. However, he warned of massive traffic jams near the Norwalk crash site and urged drivers to avoid the area or stay home.

Text alerts were sent to residents of Connecticut and New York, and trucking companies were notified to find alternative routes and means of travel, he said. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg has also been notified.

“I know what an incredible inconvenience this is for people and all I can ask you to do is stay away from that area as best you can,” he said during a briefing in Hartford. “The traffic jams are horrendous.”

The crash was reminiscent of last year’s deadly accident in Philadelphia along I-95 when a tractor-trailer carrying gasoline lost control and caught fire, destroying a section of the highway.

In Thursday’s accident, the overpass has been damaged but appeared to be “stable and safe,” said Scott Hill, chief engineer for the Connecticut Department of Transportation.

Hill said the police investigation into the 5:30 a.m. crash needs to be finished before the state can fully assess the damage. Utility wires were downed, and crews need to finish their work as well.

“Gasoline can really heat up and heat the bridge up and cause the steel to deform,” he said. “Once we figure out everything that’s associated with the safety of the traveling public and what we can and can’t do, we’ll get more updates to you.”

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