A Car Fire Closed Down Interstate 76 in Philadelphia Today
An Interstate 76 car fire caused heavy traffic delays early Wednesday morning and is under control now, according to Philadelphia’s health department which is monitoring air quality in the area and expects that any smoke should dissipate by late Thursday evening.
Philadelphia (AP) — One body was discovered amid the wreckage of I-95 that collapsed Sunday due to a gasoline tanker catching fire and striking a wall, sparking a fire that quickly spread underneath the highway. Pennsylvania State Police Spokesman Myles Rudolph reports the truck was trying to navigate around a curve when it veered off an offramp and hit a wall, sparking the blaze which quickly spread under it all lanes, completely collapsing all northbound lanes while leaving some southbound lanes undamaged despite serving up to 160,000 vehicles daily through this damaged section of I-95!
Fire investigators are currently probing the source of this blaze, although no indications point towards deliberateness. It destroyed concrete guardrails on Cottman Avenue Bridge and buckled its pavement. A similar incident took place under Interstate 95 back in 1996 due to illegal tire disposal site.
Gov. Josh Shapiro issued a disaster declaration Monday, which will allow Pennsylvania to obtain federal aid for reconstruction work on affected portions of highway. He estimates it could take months before work on rebuilding begins on those sections.
On Thursday morning shortly before 2 a.m., a tow truck collided with a vehicle parked along I-76 near its shoulder and caused substantial injuries for all involved parties involved. While three were transported to hospital with injuries from both incidents (driver, two people inside vehicle), all lanes of I-76 were closed for more than an hour due to traffic congestion before eventually being reopened again approximately an hour after.
Cole Gatti, 16, Michael Mericle, 17 and Landon Ford, 15 had funds set up on GoFundMe with over $17,000 raised by Friday afternoon. These three teens all attended Interboro High School in Philadelphia’s Frankford neighborhood. GoFundMe page set up in honor of Mericle has already raised over $4,000. Counselors were made available for students on Monday. Classes end Tuesday; staff conclude their 2022-23 school year Wednesday. Family of another teen are in mourning over his passing, with a memorial service set to take place this Saturday. Teenagers were on their way home after attending a party on Sunday when a crash and fire happened, prompting an accident investigation that ultimately resulted in over $8,800 raised through GoFundMe for girl’s family as of Monday. Parents have not commented publicly. According to police, family of the teen have been informed and no arrests have been made yet in this incident. We will update this story as more information becomes available.