A tanker crash sparked a massive fire on a Baltimore County interstate Friday morning, state police and local officials said, just weeks after a deadly tanker fire about 50 miles away.
Firefighters stood back as a yardslong trail of bright orange and red flames roared from the pavement, fueling thick black smoke that rose into the predawn darkness, an image released by the Baltimore County Fire Department shows.
The tanker overturned and was the only vehicle involved in the crash, Sgt. Arthur Horton of Maryland State Police told CNN. A tanker strike team responded, the fire department said.
The crash on I-795 forced all ramps from inner and outer loops to close, Maryland’s State Highway Administration said.
The fire was put out, the fire department said in a Twitter post shortly before 9 a.m., and crews were working with the Maryland Department of the Environment to contain diesel fuel. “Beltway will be shut down for an extended period. Avoid the area,” the fire department said.
The tanker driver was taken to a local trauma center with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.
The crash happened weeks after a deadly gas tanker explosion following a crash on a highway in nearby Frederick, Maryland. The March 4 explosion on US Route 15, about 50 miles west of Baltimore, damaged homes and vehicles and killed the tanker driver. Hazardous materials, including gasoline and diesel fuel, were contained within hours, Frederick County officials said.