Tragic Consequences: Fiery Blaze Erupts on I-95 Highway Bridge After Fatal Crash

Tragic Consequences Fiery Blaze Erupts on I-95 Highway Bridge After Fatal Crash

A major Connecticut highway bridge caught fire Friday after a collision between a fuel delivery truck and a car. While the fire was burning, officials closed Interstate 95 in both directions. According to authorities, the truck driver passed away and several persons were hurt.

On the southbound side of the Gold Star Memorial Bridge, which crosses the Thames River between New London and Groton, an accident occurred shortly after 11 a.m. In reality, there are two steel truss bridges that make up the Gold Star, one for northbound traffic and the other for southbound. Since then, the northbound side has reopened.

At an afternoon press conference, Gov. Ned Lamont and other officials said that the vehicle spilled around 2,200 gallons (8,340 liters) of home heating oil, some of which entered the river. Environmental specialists from the state sought to stop the spill.

“This was a tragic accident at 11:15 this morning,” Lamont said. “It looks like a passenger vehicle tire blew out, creating an incident” with the truck, which tipped over, he said. “Billowing smoke, incredible flames, pouring right down through the pipes, spilling out into the Thames River.”

Videos from the scene showed smoke and flames spreading across a significant portion of the bridge before landing on the Groton side. The brush fires below were started by blazing debris that fell from the bridge, according to Groton Mayor Keith Hedrick, but nobody on the ground was hurt. In addition, he asserted that no structures caught fire, contradicting initial state police reports.

Videos captured the safety fence on the side of the bridge fully melting and burning onto the road after the fire was put out.

The tweet below confirms the news:

Fiery Crash Causes Bridge Closure

The truck driver was killed in the collision, according to the mayor and fire chief of New London, and other passengers were brought to a hospital with critical injuries. According to Lamont, the wounds don’t seem to be life-threatening.

On the congested section of Interstate 95, the primary north-south route on the East Coast, the accident generated significant traffic delays and raised the possibility of long-term interruptions. A significant detour is required because the closest bridge over the Thames River is some 11 miles (18 kilometers) to the north.

Garrett Eucalitto, the state’s commissioner of transportation, stated that it was unclear when the southbound bridge will reopen. According to him, 60,000 vehicles cross the spans every day.

In order to determine when it will be safe to open it, he said, “it will require us to do an extensive look at the steel structure.”

Eucalitto noted that the state Department of Transportation was looking into the viability of splitting the northbound bridge into two ways.

With a length of 1,800 meters and 6,000 feet, the Gold Star Memorial Bridge is Connecticut’s longest passenger and vehicle bridge. It has just undergone a thorough renovation. U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg visited New London in January to make the announcement that the northbound span would receive expedited repairs for $158 million from a new federal infrastructure law.

Seth Bottone, 48, noticed the smoke and flames engulfing the bridge as he was leaving work to travel from Groton to his home. Bottone audibly gasped as he recorded a video of the flames.

Eyewitness Accounts and Navy Assistance Following Fatal I-95 Highway Bridge Crash and Fire

“I saw the smoke from a distance, thought it was something from underneath,” he remarked. Oh my gosh, I thought as I drew near.

Police then told the traffic to turn around and proceed north, according to Bottone.

When the fire trucks arrived, 40-year-old Angelique Feliciano, who had unintentionally taken a wrong turn, was standing on the bridge. Feliciano claimed to have witnessed multiple accidents in Groton, but none compare to the one on Friday.

“The highway looked like it was on fire itself,” she said. “It was scary. I wanted to get off the bridge as soon as possible.”

The submarines stationed at the U.S. Naval Submarine Base New London must cross the Gold Star to get to the ocean; it is only a short distance north of the bridge.

According to Navy spokesperson Nina Basantes, the fire is not having an influence on activities at the submarine facility. To assist with mutual aid, the Navy dispatched three fire vehicles and a group of firefighters to the scene.

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