DELRAY BEACH, Fla. – Flames and black smoke billowed from a massive fire on Interstate 95 in Delray Beach Tuesday afternoon, following a crash that injured five people.
Video showed a tanker truck and two cars on fire near the Atlantic Avenue exit.
Officials said the crash involved five vehicles; the tanker truck and four passenger cars.
According to Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Indiana Miranda, the crash happened when one of the cars swerved into the fuel tanker’s lane. That caused the fuel tanker to overturn and catch on fire, she said.
During the collision, a light pole along the median wall was struck, causing it to fall over onto the southbound lanes of I-95. The light pole struck two vehicles.
All lanes of the highway were shut down for a time as authorities investigated. As of 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, the southbound lanes had reopened, Miranda said.
By 5:45 p.m., the northbound lanes had partially reopened.
As of 10:15 p.m., at least one lane was blocked northbound and southbound while crews continued to work, but traffic was flowing in both directions.
Delray Beach Fire Rescue said fuel that leaked from the truck, into a storm drain, caused a secondary fire on the west side of the highway.
“Traffic delays will be severe, and will last for the foreseeable future,” Palm Beach County Fire Rescue tweeted Tuesday afternoon.
According to Delray Beach Fire Rescue, at least three of the four people injured were in critical condition as of around 2:15 p.m. Tuesday. Medics took those victims to Delray Medical Center.
Medics took the fourth person to Boca Raton Regional Hospital with “unknown injuries,” the agency tweeted.
Officials said a fifth victim was taken to an area hospital after the fact.
Some people who live and work in the area said they could see the plume of black smoke from miles away.
“I could see the explosion from my house,” one man said.
Another driver said he was stuck in traffic for more than 30 minutes, even after exiting on to US 1.
“People are trying to get home, Federal Highway’s beat up,” he said.
Related social media:
DBFR and @PBCFR are working to put out a tanker truck that caught fire on I-95. Drivers should avoid the highway in Delray Beach. The incident is just south of the Atlantic Avenue interchange in the northbound lanes. pic.twitter.com/kCXaUh6NxV— Delray Beach Fire Rescue (@DelrayBeachFire) October 25, 2022
Three people were critically injured in an I-95 crash this afternoon and a fourth was transported with unknown injuries. Drivers should avoid the highway in Delray Beach. DBFR, PBCFR, Boca Raton Fire, FHP and PBSO have responded to the crash. pic.twitter.com/a3PUncjuYk— Delray Beach Fire Rescue (@DelrayBeachFire) October 25, 2022
Fuel from a tanker incident Tuesday flowed through a storm drain on I-95, causing a secondary fire on the west side of the highway. Firefighters from DBFR, Boca Raton FR and @PBCFR used foam and water to attack the fires, which injured five people and closed I-95. pic.twitter.com/G89aUeuwER— Delray Beach Fire Rescue (@DelrayBeachFire) October 25, 2022