Tanker Explosion Destroys Oakland Interchange
Fortunately the driver survived, and was the only person injured. However, in a region plagued with traffic congestion, this will be the worst infrastructure disaster since the 1989 earthquake.
A section of freeway that funnels traffic onto the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge collapsed early Sunday after a gasoline tanker truck overturned and caught fire, authorities said.
The heat from the fire was intense enough to melt part of the freeway and cause the collapse, but the truck's driver walked away from the scene with second-degree burns.
No other injuries were reported, which officials said was only possible because the accident happened so early on a Sunday morning. The truck driver took a taxi to a nearby hospital, Officer Trent Cross of the California Highway Patrol said. (Watch I-Reporter Paul Kochli explain his video of the aftermath of the fiery truck crash Video)
The tanker carrying 8,600 gallons of gasoline ignited around 3:45 a.m. after crashing into a pylon on the interchange, which connects westbound lanes of Interstate 80 to southbound I-880, about half a mile from the Bay Bridge's toll plaza.
The fire melted a second interchange from eastbound I-80 to eastbound I-580 located above the first interchange, causing a 250-yard section of the roadway to collapse onto the roadway below, according to the highway patrol.
Witnesses reported flames from the blaze reached up to 200 feet high.