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Video/Pic: Major explosion, fire in Connecticut

A fire truck.(Dreamstime/TNS)
May 03, 2024

A major explosion was triggered Thursday on a Connecticut highway after a tractor-trailer carrying roughly 8,500 gallons of gasoline was involved in a car crash.

News 8 Connecticut reported that the accident took place around 5:30 a.m. on I-95 southbound near Exit 15 and Exit 16. According to the outlet, Paul Copleman, a spokesperson for the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, confirmed that the accident involved a fuel tanker, a tractor-trailer, and a passenger vehicle.

Despite the massive explosion and fire caused by the crash, no deaths or serious injuries were reported. However, the explosion led to both sides of I-95 being closed by state authorities.

During a Thursday press conference, Paul Rizzo, Connecticut’s chief of Highway Operations, said, “Traffic is really a nightmare down there.”

Gov. Ned Lamont (D-Conn.) shared a video and a picture of the “scene from the fiery collision” on social media. “Despite the dramatic scene, thankfully everyone involved is safe,” he wrote.

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg also tweeted a statement regarding Thursday’s accident, saying, “Our highways team is working closely with Connecticut’s DOT [Department of Transportation] on the tanker fire that has closed I-95 in Norwalk.” Buttigieg urged the public to listen to the guidance of local authorities and avoid traveling near the accident.

Following an assessment of a bridge that was damaged in Thursday’s explosion, Lamont explained that the “heat from the burning fuel compromised some of the bridge,” according to The New York Post. As a result, the Connecticut governor said the bridge would have to be demolished, starting Friday morning.

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In light of Thursday’s explosion, the Democratic governor declared an official state of emergency to allow resources to quickly be directed to the state’s efforts to address the situation.

“The fire from this morning’s accident caused significant structural damage to an overpass on I-95 in Norwalk and it is not safe for traffic to use the road at this time,” Lamont said in a press release. “Structural engineers have determined that this overpass needs to be demolished and the road needs to be repaved. We are advising commuters to expect that this area of I-95 in Norwalk will remain closed at least through the weekend.”