A devastating vehicle fire involving a tanker truck and two cars created havoc on the Pennsylvania Turnpike and killed at least one person late Saturday morning, state police said.
At least one of the vehicles turned into a rolling inferno on the northbound side of Interstate 476 shortly before 10:30 a.m., shutting down all lanes between Mid-County and Lansdale in Worcester Township, Montgomery County.
Social media images and videos show a large cloud of black smoke rising from the scene and blanketing the highway with debris.
Emergency personnel were first called to the scene at 10:24 a.m., northpennnow.com reported.
Videos taken by @newsguyPhilly — published on X and shared with Fox News Digital — show firefighters wrestling with the blaze.
The Official PA Turnpike X account Tweeted at 12:01 p.m. that firefighters are still getting the fire under control with water and foam.
“They can not allow traffic to travel north due to damage & fire suppression,” PA Turnpike Alerts Tweeted. “Once safe, they will begin u-turning trapped queue; no timeframe for this to occur yet.”
VIDEO: CARNAGE OF DEBRIS AND FIRE
The PA Turnpike told Fox News Digital that there will be “extended road closure” on both the northbound and southbound sides as emergency personnel deal with the fuel in the tanker.
People have been trapped on the road for hours. One driver, Ed McFarland, told Fox News Digital in X messages that there are miles of bumper-to-bumper traffic.
“We’re going nowhere fast,” McFarland said at 12:34 p.m. “I can’t see anything but stopped traffic and people out of their cars. The smoke is gone at this point,”
The PA Turnpike X account has a running thread about travel alerts, lane closures and detours, with the most recent update posted around 11:39 a.m. telling drivers stuck on the highway to remain in their cars.
“Once crews are able to get the active scene under control, Turnpike Maintenance crews will be working to get the trapped queue removed,” PA Turnpike Alerts said in an X post.
“Please be patient and remain in your vehicle unless an emergency prevents you from doing so. If you have an emergency, have questions or need assistance, dial *11 (star 11) to be connected to the #PaTurnpike Traffic Operations Center.”
At noon, PA Turnpike Alerts reported that firefighters are still getting the blaze under control with water and foam.
“They can not allow traffic to travel north due to damage & fire suppression,” PA Turnpike Alerts tweeted. “Once safe, they will begin u-turning trapped queue; no timeframe for this to occur yet.”
PA Turnpike X account’s running thread of traffic updates:
Fox News Digital’s Sarah Rumpf-Whitten and The Associated Press contributed to this report.