Friday, January 23, 2009

Flaming Semi Rig Shuts Down I-71 For Hours (Cincinnati)

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Flaming Semi Rig Shuts Down I-71 For Hours
Truck's Tire Blew Out, Caught Fire Near Taft Rd.

A semi truck caught fire Friday afternoon on southbound Interstate 71.

The driver said he heard a popping sound and noticed smoke, so he pulled his 1999 Freightliner onto the shoulder just north of the Taft Road exit.

The entire vehicle soon became engulfed in flames, and heavy black smoke poured from the truck.

Investigators said the right tire blew out and caught fire, and crews battled the blaze from the Lincoln Avenue overpass.

All southbound lanes and the exit ramp were closed for nearly two hours, and police also blocked access to I-71 from the Dana Avenue-Montgomery Road entrance ramp.

Three lanes were reopened before 4 p.m., but drivers still encountered lengthy delays during rush hour and motorists were urged to use the Norwood Lateral to reach a detour on Interstate 75.

The vehicle was considered a total loss, with $50,000 damage, but the trailer's contents were not damaged and no injuries were reported.

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