Tanker fire closes Interstate 81 near Harrisburg

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HARRISBURG -- A tanker truck fire closed Interstate 81 at Route 22/322 this morning.

The fire was reported about 6:15 a.m. on the ramp from northbound Interstate 81 to westbound Route 22/322. It closed the bridges that carry Route 22/322 over I-81 and also both directions of I-81 that pass underneath those bridges.

The Harrisburg Patriot-News reported the crash in Susquehanna Township involved a 5,000-gallon tanker and that the driver escaped from the rig.

At 10:30 a.m., PennDOT reopened westbound Route 22 over I-81 at Exit 67 and restored access to northbound I-81 from westbound Route 22 at the interchange.

I-81 remained closed in both directions at Exit 67, just north of Harrisburg. Eastbound Route 22/322 also remained closed at the interchange until further notice.

Early reports from the scene were that one of the Route 22/322 bridges was badly damaged by heat from the fire. Gov. Tom Corbett scheduled an afternoon news conference to discuss the incident and its ongoing impact on traffic and travel.

It was not immediately clear what caused the fire, or who owns the truck. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Police could not say when the roads may reopen.

PennDOT planned to evaluate the structural integrity of the bridges that were affected by the fire and determine later today when I-81 and Route 22/322 can be reopened to traffic.

state - Transportation


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