What you should know about the I-95 Bridge fire in Connecticut

The New York Times reported that the stretch of highway would be closed at least until Monday.

“The heat from the burning fuel damaged a portion of the bridge, requiring the bridge to be demolished,” Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said in a news conference Thursday afternoon, according to the Times.

“I know what an incredible inconvenience this is for people,” he said.

The road could reopen as early as Monday

If all goes according to plan, the closed section of I-95 could reopen as early as Monday morning.

Demolition of the bridge, which was less than a decade old, was expected to begin around 3 a.m. Friday and take 24 hours or longer, according to the Associated Press.

About 160,000 vehicles travel this portion of I-95 in both directions each day, according to the AP.

Dramatic video of the accident scene

A multi-vehicle accident occurred around 5:30 a.m. Thursday morning, causing a tanker truck filled with gasoline to explode into bright orange flames.

A video posted by the governor on social media showed firefighters trying to extinguish the fire spreading under the bridge as dark gray smoke enveloped the roadway above. Towards the end of the 28-second video, a huge mushroom cloud of flames and smoke erupts from the sunken tanker.

No serious injuries were reported, according to the Hartford Courant.

“We are very grateful that no one was seriously injured,” said Norwalk Mayor Harry W. Rilling, the Courant reported.

According to the Associated Press, Rilling urged local employers to consider allowing employees to work from home on Friday and encouraged travelers to use the MetroNorth commuter rail system.

The AP reported that Norwalk public schools will remain closed Friday and it is unclear whether they will reopen Monday.

State police are warning drivers to avoid the area

Connecticut State Police are warning drivers to “avoid non-essential travel in the Norwalk area,” according to a Post on X, formerly Twitter. “Commercial vehicle operators are asked to be aware of vehicle weight and height restrictions when navigating alternative routes,” the post said. “Commercial vehicles are still prohibited from traveling on the CT Parkways.”

Officials with the Connecticut State Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security said detours were in place while the highway was closed.

The governor declared a state of emergency

Lamont declared a state of emergency after the crash.

“Today I declared a state of emergency in response to the damage to I-95 in Norwalk,” Lamont wrote in Thursday a post on X. “This declaration will help accelerate some of the resources we need to respond to this situation. I will continue to provide further updates as they become available.”

In his letter to Connecticut Secretary of State Stephanie Thomas, Lamont said the immediate repair and reconstruction of the damaged bridge and highway is “critically important to the safety, well-being and health of Connecticut residents as well as state residents.” are along the East Coast.”

Emily Sweeney can be reached at [email protected]. follow her @emilysweeney and on Instagram @emilysweeney22.

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