Gas Tanker Catches Fire on I-75
A tractor trailer hauling 8,800 gallons of gasoline caught fire on Interstate 75 near mile marker 349 in Ocala early Saturday morning.
The fire happened shortly after 2 a.m. and took nearly three hours for the Marion County Fire Rescue and Ocala Fire Rescue crews to extinguish.
The fire shut down all lanes of I-75 for more than three hours. The southbound lanes opened at 5:25 a.m. Two of the northbound lanes reopened at 7:45 a.m.
The right, outside northbound lane of I-75 remains closed early Saturday afternoon due to extensive roadway damage.
Firefighters used thousands of gallons of foam from the Ocala Airport firefighting vehicle to extinguish the burning tanker.
The driver of the tractor trailer managed to escape the blaze, uninjured.
The explosion caused at least three other accidents, with one resulting in critical injuries. Just minutes after the tanker fire, a driver was critically injured after he swerved to avoid a Marion County Sheriff's patrol car and overturned in the roadway.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol report, the tanker fire was a result of a mechanical failure. The tanker was not involved in any crash.
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