I-95 collapse: Body found, Philadelphia motorway repairs to take months

A body has been recovered from the wreckage of a section of the I-95 motorway in Philadelphia, which collapsed following a petrol lorry fire on Sunday, according to Pennsylvania State Police. The identity of the body, handed over to the Philadelphia County Medical Examiner on Monday, remains unknown. Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro has declared a state of emergency to speed up the allocation of funds for the necessary repairs.

Shapiro warned that the restoration of the motorway, which accommodates approximately 160,000 vehicles daily, including around 14,000 lorries, will take several months. No injuries or fatalities were reported immediately after the incident. It is still unclear whether the remains found on Monday belong to the lorry driver.

” At least one vehicle is still trapped underneath the collapsed roadway,” Governor Shapiro said during a briefing at the scene on Sunday. “We’re still working to identify any individual or individuals who may have been caught in the fire and the collapse.”

Sections of the I-95, a major US motorway spanning nearly 2,000 miles (3,218 km) from Maine to Florida, have been closed. In a social media post on Monday, Shapiro referred to the repair efforts as “all hands on deck.” The governor announced a disaster emergency to accelerate the reconstruction process and access federal funds.

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Investigators are currently working to determine the exact cause of the collapse, which has led to drivers seeking alternative routes. State officials stated on Monday that the fire began after the lorry driver took an off-ramp and crashed into a wall while attempting to navigate a curve. The lorry was carrying 8,500 gallons of petrol, as reported by the Pennsylvania State Police.

Crews worked throughout Sunday night to clear debris, rubble, and steel from the scene. According to statistics from the Bureau of Transportation, only 44% of highway bridges in the US are in good condition.

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Chris Hollingsworth

Chris studied journalism in the US and worked there for a few years before moving to Thailand in 2021, just as he thought Covid was coming to an end - sadly more lockdowns ensued as he came out of his 14 days of isolation! He now combines his passion for writing and journalism to cover US and global news for The Thaiger.

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