I-95 collapse, at least one vehicle trapped in rubble

On Sunday, at least one vehicle remained caught beneath enormous amounts of debris from the collapsed part of I-95 in Philadelphia, while officials alerted that it would take numerous months to reconstruct the destroyed overpass.

Authorities declared there were no casualties or injuries due to the tanker explosion that caused the overhead section of the vital interstate highway to collapse. Governor Josh Shapiro stated during a briefing at the site that, “At least one vehicle is still trapped underneath the collapsed roadway,” and that they were still attempting to identify any person or persons who may have been present during the fire and collapse.

The blast originated from a tractor-trailer carrying a petroleum-based product, which then caused the overpass to collapse at 6:20 am. Governor Shapiro mentioned that the northbound lanes of the highway had been entirely destroyed, while the southbound lanes remain unsteady.

He added that they expected the complete rebuilding of the I-95 roadway to take some months, and a disaster declaration would be issued the next day to expedite the process and draw down federal funds to start the repair work. In addition, Shapiro spoke directly to US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, and Buttigieg promised to deploy federal funds to rapidly help in the reconstruction of this artery.

Meanwhile, the state transportation officials were working to create alternate routes and public transportation to help commuters bypass the broken roadway. Pennsylvania Transportation Secretary Mike Carroll said a contractor had been employed and had equipment at the scene within hours of the explosion to begin the repair effort. He stated that they would continue the effort for the next 24 hours, and their objective was to clear the debris as quickly as possible and then start the repair and replacement process. Carroll concluded by expressing his confidence that with the help of the Philadelphia Police Department and other partners they would get through this.