SEATTLE — Southbound Interstate 5 near Mercer Street in Seattle reopened Thursday night after a truck fire resulted in an hours-long closure that caused major traffic backups.
All lanes of southbound I-5 were closed around 1 p.m. and were reopened by 7:30 p.m., according to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).
The express lanes were closed for a couple of hours, before reopening to southbound traffic 3:30 p.m.
According to preliminary information from Seattle Fire, the fire originated from the undercarriage of the truck due to a mechanical failure before spreading to the flat bed and tanks.
No injuries were reported, but the incident caused traffic to back up for miles.
Fire crews used foam to extinguish the fire. However, their work was delayed due to limited access to hydrants. Seattle Fire requested water trucks from the Seattle Department of Transportation and a foam truck from Boeing to assist with their operations.
The truck was carrying oxygen, acetylene and propane tanks, plus an argon cylinder.
One of the tanks shot off the freeway, falling into a construction site below. That fire is also under control, according to Seattle Fire.
Seattle Fire tweeted the fire was extinguished just before 4:30 p.m.
Washington State Patrol Trooper Rick Johnson said vehicles stuck in the backup broke down due to the heat, with some running out of gas.
Prior to reopening the freeway, WSDOT inspected the bridge and found no structural damage. The signs above the fire were removed and crews were able to quickly repair minor surface damage.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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