Just hours after the fire had been put out below the northbound lanes of I-95, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, along with emergency response officials, were at the site near the Cottman Avenue ramp in Northeast Philadelphia — sifting through the debris and rubble from the collapse.
So far, no injuries have been reported as a result of the collapse that happened after a vehicle caught fire beneath a highway overpass. Because the fire burned so hot, officials said Sunday evening they were still working to determine if anyone may have been caught in the collapse.
An average of 160,000 commuters used the now-collapsed section of highway every day, according to PennDOT. Gov. Shapiro and other officials said it could take several months to rebuild, and commuters will need to find an alternate route until the project is complete. To keep travelers up to date on detours, the state has set up a website. SEPTA has also said it will increase capacity along the Trenton, West Trenton, and Fox Chase lines to account for the expected influx in riders.
In 1996, I-95 was closed for eight days for emergency repairs after a fire under the highway caused stability issues. The current closure will likely be longer since in that incident the roadway remained intact.