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Peter Samore, KSL Newsradio

Crews work through the night to repair, reopen southbound I-15 after tanker fire

By Jacob Klopfenstein, KSL.com | Posted - Jan 18th, 2018 @ 11:59pm


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UPDATE: Three left lanes of southbound I-15, including the HOV lane, are open and two right lanes remain closed at 7200 South after a semi tanker caught fire Thursday night, according to the Utah Department of Transportation.

All vehicles are allowed to use the HOV lane while the closure remains in effect Friday morning.

UDOT hopes to reopen all lanes by no later than noon.

Get traffic updates on KSL Newsradio and on the KSL traffic page.


Earlier:

MIDVALE — Crews were working through the night to repair and reopen the southbound lanes of I-15 near 7200 South after a semi tanker fire shut down the interstate Thursday night.

Southbound I-15 was closed from I-215 junction to 9000 South, according to Unified Fire Authority. Northbound lanes were reopened shortly after 10:40 p.m. Thursday, according to Utah Department of Transportation.

A semi with two gasoline tankers caught on fire at about 7:30 p.m., Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Todd Royce said. It possibly started with a brake fire on the truck, he said.

As of 10:35 p.m., the fire had been put out, Unified Fire Authority said on Twitter.

The driver of the truck got out safely. There were no injuries and no structures threatened during the fire, UFA said.

The situation was volatile, with thousands of gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel on fire, Royce said. Several vehicles were caught in the fire, he added.

The surface streets underneath the freeway interchange also were closed. It would be more than a few hours before the situation was cleaned up, Royce said.

FrontRunner and TRAX trains in the area were reversed, Utah Transit Authority said on Twitter.

Bus bridges were put in place for several TRAX and FrontRunner stations in the area but had been lifted as of 10:30 p.m. UTA said to expect half-hour delays between the Orem Central and Provo Central FrontRunner stations.

Lt. Governor Spencer Cox also was caught in traffic due to the fire. He was on his way to his home in Fairview and could see the fire from where he was stuck on the freeway.

"It was a huge fireball," Cox said. "It was pretty amazing, pretty impressive. Again, hoping everyone got out okay."

Cox said he's used to seeing accidents and sitting in traffic during the long commute he makes each day. But the situation Thursday evening was definitely abnormal.

The southbound I-15 interchange was closed to drivers going east or west on I-215, Royce said. The I-215 ramps to southbound I-15 were reopened shortly after 11:30 p.m.

UDOT officials later said via Twitter crews would work through the night to try to have as much of the southbound freeway open as possible by Friday morning.

Contributing: Xoel Cardenas, KSL.com

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