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Body recovered from I-95 collapse in Philadelphia

A body was recovered from the site of the 1-95 collapse in Philadelphia. The collapsed interstate remains a very active scene.
Philadelphia's I-95 will take months to rebuild after collapse
Posted at 12:18 PM, Jun 12, 2023

Police said a body was recovered from the site of the 1-95 collapse in Philadelphia, and that state authorities are working on identifying the remains. At least one vehicle is still under the highway. No other injuries have been reported, but the situation remains fluid, said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney.

Meanwhile, a long road to recovery began after a tanker fire caused a section of the interstate to collapse Sunday. 

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro said repairs could take quite some time.

"With regards to the complete rebuild of I-95 roadway, we expect that to take some number of months," Shapiro said in a news conference.

A more concrete timeline will be made available once engineers and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) complete their review, he said. 

In the meantime, authorities are out on the roads directing traffic through detours and exploring alternate methods for traffic. 

Gov. Shapriro said officials are looking at temporary solutions to connect I-95.

"The northbound side of I-95 has completely collapsed and the southbound side is not structurally sound to carry any traffic over it," he said.

"I-95 of course is a critical roadway. It supports our economy, and plays an important role in folks' everyday lives," he continued. 

The governor said he will issue a disaster declaration Monday. He said all federal partners, including the White House, have pledged complete support. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg has promised not to cause any delay in funding.

SEE MORE: Section of busy Philadelphia interstate collapses after tanker fire

The collapsed interstate remains a very active scene. 

The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency is on-site coordinating response efforts, and Deputy Fire Commissioner Jeffrey Thompson said the Philadelphia Fire Department continues to remain on the scene.

"Because of the large volume of product that was involved, we want to make sure that if the fire restarts, that we are there to quickly respond and take care of that," Thompson said in a news conference. 

PennDOT and its Secretary of Transportation Mike Carroll were also on scene inspecting the roadway.

The Department of Environmental Protection and U.S. Coast Guard are working with the Philadelphia water department to conduct environmental assessments.

The mayor said in addition to road closures, delays in trash collection and bus routes will be experienced as well.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is offering more support on railways and free parking in a number of lots, according to CEO Leslie Richards. 

"We are all going to need some extra patience in the coming days," Richards said.

She asked employers to exercise understanding, saying, "it's going to take longer than normal to get to work." 

Philadelphia's I-95 carries 160,000 vehicles per day. The collapse happened when a commercial vehicle carrying a petroleum-based product went up in flames, causing a portion of the roadway above to buckle. The incident also triggered subsequent explosions in the vicinity, such as manholes on fire.

A list of detours, closures and alternate methods for transportation can be found here.

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