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Tanker explodes in Detroit,MI closes I-75; overpass collapses

Posted on : 15-07-2009 | By : FlatBrokeTruckn | In : Tractor trailer accident

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I-75 was expected to be shut down indefinitely after a gasoline tanker exploded Wednesday night near 9 Mile, causing the collapse of the overpass on the northbound side.
As thick black smoke billowed from the scene and flames shot up 150 to 200 feet, traffic snarled on both sides. Authorities advised drivers to look for alternative routes this morning.

The shutdown is expected to cause massive headaches for people commuting to work.

It was not immediately clear how many vehicles were caught in the explosion. There were unconfirmed reports of at least one death.

“We saw thick black smoke in the middle of 9 Mile,” said Kevin Dwight, 41, of Ferndale, who witnessed the scene while standing outside his church a few blocks from the explosion.

Lt. Shannon Sims of the Michigan State Police post in Oak Park confirmed that the heat from the tanker blast and fire had caused the 9 Mile overpass above northbound I-75 to collapse.

“Until they get that fire out, it’s going to be hard for us to get in there and determine what happened and how many vehicles may have been involved,” Sims said.

Samantha Kaca and her stepfather, Jeff Waller, walked from their Hazel Park home near 8 mile to the scene.

They said they could see a large oil tanker completely engulfed in flames.

“It was a total burnout,” Waller said.
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