GROTON, Conn. (WTNH) — A person is dead, and two others are injured after a fuel tanker rolled over Friday morning on the Gold Star Bridge in Groton.
The northbound side of Interstate 95 reopened around 12:45 p.m., but the southbound side could be closed for an extended period as investigators assess the bridge’s safety.
State police said a home heating oil delivery truck rolled over, sparking a massive fire on the southbound side of I-95 around 11:15 a.m. Gov. Ned Lamont (D-Conn.) said it appeared a passenger vehicle’s tire blew out, which caused the fuel tanker to crash.
The driver of the tanker was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said. Their name has not been released to the public. Two passengers in the passenger vehicle were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
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The tanker could hold about 2,200 gallons of number two home heating oil, but authorities did not know how much was on board at the time of the crash.
A lot of the oil flowed down the drainage system as it burned, and a large part of the fence along the pedestrian pathway is now melted. Authorities said the fire spread to buildings below the bridge.
The Connecticut Department of Transportation is working to determine if the bridge structure is compromised.
“Right now, what you have is the Department of Transportation doing a structural analysis of the southbound bridge in particular, making sure that we’re not going to open it until we’re absolutely safe,” Lamont said. “The intense wicked heat potentially compromised the steel. We hope that’s not the case.”
DEEP crews set out booms in the Thames River, and officials believe it has captured about 85% of the oil which leaked into it.
This bridge carries 60,000 vehicles a day, and right now, those heading south on I-95 have to either go up Route 12 to the Mohegan-Pequot Bridge or through Norwich to catch Route 2 to I-395.