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In Philadelphia on Sunday morning, a vehicle fire led to the closure of Interstate 95 in both directions and caused a section of the elevated highway to collapse, according to state officials. This incident raised concerns about potential travel disruptions throughout the Northeast, as I-95 is a heavily traveled route.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announced that all lanes between Exit 25 and Exit 32, including Allegheny Avenue, Castor Avenue, Academy Road, and Linden Avenue, were closed due to the vehicle fire. Philadelphia Fire Department Captain Derek Bowmer reported that emergency crews were dispatched around 6:30 a.m. local time after receiving a report of a vehicle ablaze on the interstate. Although initial reports suggested the possibility of a tanker truck, this has yet to be confirmed.

The fire has been brought under control, and city and state officials are actively responding to address the impact on residents and travelers affected by the road closure, as stated by the state fire department in a statement to USA TODAY. Fortunately, no injuries have been reported thus far.

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Interstate 95 serves as a vital north-south highway along the East Coast, extending from Florida through Maine and into Canada. The City of Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management advised people to plan ahead and find alternative travel routes via Twitter.

Captain Bowmer noted that the fire’s runoff and potentially compromised gas lines caused underground explosions. The intense heat from the fire resulted in the complete destruction of the northbound lanes and significant damage to the southbound lanes. Dominick Mireles, director of the Philadelphia OEM, expressed that it would be a long and challenging day for responders and the community at large, particularly with the loss of the northbound lanes and the uncertainty surrounding the southbound lanes.

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