US I-95 collapse: Police find body under debris

  • By Brandon Drennan
  • BBC News, Washington

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WATCH: Oil tanker fire partially collapses Philadelphia freeway

Authorities have recovered a body from the wreckage of a section of a US highway that collapsed Sunday, Pennsylvania State Police said.

The body, which was turned over to the Philadelphia County Medical Examiner on Monday, has not been identified.

A section of I-95 collapsed after a truck filled with gasoline caught fire under the freeway in Philadelphia.

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro has declared a state of emergency to expedite funding for repairs.

Mr Shapiro warned it would take “a few months” to restore the highway, which carries about 160,000 vehicles a day, including 14,000 trucks.

There were no immediate injuries or fatalities after the incident. Authorities have not yet said whether the remains found Monday are those of the truck driver.

“At least one vehicle is trapped under the collapsed roadway,” Governor Shapiro said during a briefing at the scene on Sunday.

“We are still working to identify any individual or individuals involved in the fire and collapse.”

Portions of I-95 – a major US highway that stretches nearly 2,000 miles (3,218 km) from Maine to Florida – are closed.

Mr Shapiro described efforts to repair the motorway as “all hands on deck” in a social media post on Monday.

The governor declared a disaster emergency to speed up the rebuilding process and use federal funds.

Investigators are working to determine the exact cause of the crash, which has forced drivers to take alternate routes.

State officials said Monday that the fire started when the truck driver hit a wall while trying to negotiate a curve.

Pennsylvania State Police said the truck contained 8,500 gallons of gasoline.

Crews worked through Sunday night to clear debris, rubble and steel from the scene.

According to the Bureau of Transportation statistics, less than half of the highway bridges in the United States – 44% – are in good condition.

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