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Devastating tanker fire shuts down major Pennsylvania highway: video

Devastating tanker fire shuts down major Pennsylvania highway: video

A devastating vehicle fire involving a tanker created havoc on the Pennsylvania Turnpike late Saturday morning. 

At least one vehicle turned into a rolling inferno on Interstate 476 shortly before 11 a.m., shutting down all lanes between Mid-County and Lansdale.

Social media images and videos show a large cloud of black smoke rising from the scene and blanketing the highway with debris.

Authorities have yet to release any official information about injuries, how many vehicles were involved or what caused the fire, but there is fear that multiple people were hurt.

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Burning vehicle on the Pennsylvania turnpike

A devastating vehicle fire on the Pennsylvania turnpike shut down a section of the highway Saturday morning (October 21, 2023). (Northpennnow.com)

Emergency personnel were first called to the scene at 10:24 a.m., northpennnow.com reported. 

Videos taken by @newsguyPhilly — published on X and shared with Fox News Digital — show firefighters wrestling with the blaze. 

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The Official PA Turnpike X account Tweeted at 12:01 p.m. that firefighters are still getting the fire under control with water and foam.

“They can not allow traffic to travel north due to damage & fire suppression,” PA Turnpike Alerts Tweeted. “Once safe, they will begin u-turning trapped queue; no timeframe for this to occur yet.”

Firefighters hitting a burning tanker with water and foam

The Official PA Turnpike X account Tweeted at 12:01 p.m. that firefighters were still getting the fire under control with water and foam. ( @newsguyPhilly/X)

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The PA Turnpike told Fox News Digital that there will be “extended road closure” on both the northbound and southbound sides as emergency personnel deal with the fuel in the tanker. 

People have been trapped on the road for hours. One driver, Ed McFarland, told Fox News Digital in X messages that there are miles of bumper-to-bumper traffic.

“We’re going nowhere fast,” McFarland said at 12:34 p.m. “I can’t see anything but stopped traffic and people out of their cars. The smoke is gone at this point,” 

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The PA Turnpike X account has a running thread about travel alerts, lane closures and detours, with the most recent update posted around 11:39 a.m. telling drivers stuck on the highway to remain in their cars. 

“Once crews are able to get the active scene under control, Turnpike Maintenance crews will be working to get the trapped queue removed,” PA Turnpike Alerts said in an X post.

“Please be patient and remain in your vehicle unless an emergency prevents you from doing so. If you have an emergency, have questions or need assistance, dial *11 (star 11) to be connected to the #PaTurnpike Traffic Operations Center.”

Miles of bumper-to-bumper standstill traffic

Traffic has been shutdown on the Pennsylvania Turnpike for hours.  (Ed McFarland)

A large black cloud of smoke rises from the scene of the vehicle fire on the Pennsylvania turnpike.

A large black cloud of smoke rises from the scene of the vehicle fire on the Pennsylvania turnpike. ( @newsguyPhilly/X)

At noon, PA Turnpike Alerts reported that firefighters are still getting the blaze under control with water and foam.

“They can not allow traffic to travel north due to damage & fire suppression,” PA Turnpike Alerts tweeted. “Once safe, they will begin u-turning trapped queue; no timeframe for this to occur yet.”

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PA Turnpike X account’s running thread of traffic updates:

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Chris Eberhart

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