An accident resulted in large fuel fire on northbound Interstate 25 between Orchard Road and Bellevue Ave. Wednesday, May 31, 2017. Both directions of I-25 were shut down while fire fighters battled the blaze. (Steve Nehf/The Denver Post via AP)
A busy stretch of Interstate 25 in Denver was severely damaged after a tanker truck caught fire and exploded Wednesday. The driver of the truck suffered injuries, but was pulled from the truck by passing motorists and workers.
A witness told KCNC-TV he saw the semi lose control and hit a barrier just before the fire started.
“When he came to a stop I could see fuel, on the road northbound,” said Dave Fretz, a witness to the incident. “It was smoking and there was some flames happening in the back part of it. I knew this guy was in a truck and I didn’t see him come out of the truck.”
Fretz told the station while he went to check on the driver’s side of the semi, two Colorado Department of Transportation workers had pulled the driver from the passenger’s side and were helping him away from the fire.
Fretz said the driver was suffering from head and arm injuries, but the official condition of the driver was unavailable.
All 10 lanes of the highway, five in each direction, were shut down for several hours for crews to extinguish the blaze, forcing over 200,000 daily commuters to be diverted around the scene. By the Wednesday evening commute, three lanes were open on the southbound side of Interstate 25, but the northbound lanes remained closed into Thursday morning.