I-95 Shut Down Completely in Philadelphia After Tanker Truck Crash: Brace Yourself for a Long Day Ahead!

Elevated Section of I-95 Collapses in Philadelphia After a Tanker Truck Fire

An elevated section of Interstate 95 in Philadelphia collapsed on Sunday following a petrol tanker catching fire on the highway. Transportation officials warned drivers of extensive delays and street closures, with the northeast corner of the city remaining closed indefinitely. The accident occurred on the country’s primary north-south highway, and although the fire has now been brought under control, the northbound lanes have disappeared and the southbound ones have been significantly compromised by the heat from the fire. Both have been closed indefinitely until repairs can be made.

The Collapse

The section of highway that collapsed was due to a crash on a ramp beneath the northbound lane just after 6:15 am. The northbound section collapsed swiftly, with the southbound lanes heavily damaged. Video footage has shown a vast concrete slab falling from I-95 onto the road below. It was reported that the tanker was carrying hundreds of gallons of gasoline. However, no casualties were reported as a result of the collapse.


Motorists were instructed to follow a 43-mile (69-kilometer) detour, which is expected to significantly increase the traffic flow. A significant number of drivers traveling along the I-95 corridor between Delaware and New York City already used the New Jersey Turnpike, bypassing the area where the collapse occurred. Until 2018, drivers would use surface roads with traffic lights to connect to I-95 in Pennsylvania.

Environmental Concerns

Transportation officials are also worried about the runoff into the nearby Delaware River. The area’s environmental effects could be damaging. The removal of debris from the site will likely necessitate specialized heavy construction equipment.

The Comparable 1996 Blaze

This blaze mirrored an incident in Philadelphia in March 1996 when an illegal tire dump under I-95 caught fire, melting guard rails, and buckling the pavement. The highway was closed for several weeks, and in parts, for six months afterward. Seven teenagers were accused of arson. The dump’s owner was sentenced to prison.

The Comparable Atlanta Blaze

In Atlanta, an elevated section of Interstate 85 collapsed after a fire in March 2017, shutting down a heavily-traveled route through the city’s core. A homeless person was suspected of starting the blaze, but federal investigators claimed that the state transportation department’s practice of storing flammable building materials under the road raised the chances of fire.


The highway’s closure will significantly impact traffic, bringing extensive delays and street closures. Despite a 43-mile (69-kilometer) detour indicated for motorists, it is likely that congestion in the area will continue for the foreseeable future. The severity of the damage, the environmental compatibility issues, and traffic congestion have placed the reopening of the highway indefinitely on hold.

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