Update: I-15 repairs ongoing after tanker collision, inferno in Salt Lake City

I-15 in Salt Lake City is shown during and after a tanker fire. Photos: Gephardt Daily; UDOT

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Feb. 22, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Extensive road repairs are underway after a car-tanker collision early Friday on Interstate 15 in Salt Lake City.

“I just learned that our UDOT crews must repair 12 to 13 concrete panels, and replace 333 feet of concrete barrier,” said a 9:50 a.m. tweet from John Gleason, spokesman for the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT).

“We will also assess damage to the drainage system caused by an explosion when gas from the tanker leaked into the pipes.”

All lanes except one have opened, he said.

“The remaining lane will stay closed most of the day while road repairs are made.”

Captain Adam Archuleta, spokesman for the Salt Lake City Fire Department, told Gephardt Daily the rollover happened about 1:40 a.m. when the southbound tanker and a single car collided, sending flames and thick black smoke billowing into the air.

Firefighters were able to douse the fire about 2:30 a.m. with the assistance of foam trucks provided by fire crews at Salt Lake City International and the Utah National Guard. The blaze was officially under control by 2:51 a.m.

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One driver was critically injured in the crash. A second driver was reported in fair condition. Archuleta said it was initially unclear who was driving which vehicle.

Northbound lanes of I-15 remained open, but traffic slowed to a crawl and was backed up for miles. There was at least one crash reported when “rubberneckers” collided while driving northbound.

According to Archuleta, the twin-tanker truck was carrying 7,000 gallons of gasoline and 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel at the time of the crash.

Gleason updated the situation with another tweet just after 11 a.m.:

“UDOT crews preparing the road for the temporary patch. We’ll be able to put in the permanent fix sometime in the coming weeks when temperatures are warmer. We should be able to open the final I-15 SB lane sometime late this afternoon.”

 

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