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Massive Tanker Fire On Ramp Shuts Down I-75 At I-375 In Detroit

DETROIT (WWJ) -- Fire crews have put out a massive tanker fire on the I-75 to I-375 interchange in downtown Detroit.

The Michigan Department of Transportation says southbound 1-75 at 1-375 are now back open. Northbound 1-75 Fisher to 1-75 Chrysler and I-375 northbound are still closed.

The ramps from northbound and southbound Lodge Freeway to northbound I-75 are also closed.

At around 9 a.m. on Sunday morning, 9,000 gallons of unleaded fuel went up in flames -- and also seeped into the sewers -- sending thick black smoke into the air. Michigan State Police say there was a mechanical issue with the truck which may have started the fire.

Michigan State Police Lt. Michael Shaw says that the driver of the tanker got away from the vehicle unharmed and there are no reports of any other injuries. Shaw said that police are interviewing the driver.

"He complained of some type of mechanical issue that happened where the back tires of the trailer locked up and caused the tanker to overturn," Shaw said. "So that is one of the things that we're going to look at once the wreckage out there cools down where our troopers and our motor vehicle officers can go out there and take a look at it."

The Detroit Fire Department says crews are on the scene and staging near Ford Field. Level 2 HazMat has been declared.

[MORE: Fuel Spills Into Sewers During Tanker Explosion; Officials Confident Water Is Safe]

M-DOT Spokesperson Diane Cross spoke with WWJ Newsradio 950's Lauren Barthold about the situation.

"We do have a number of vehicles that are stuck on I-75. Northbound, they're stopped before you can get to the exit to go north on Stroh's Curve," Cross said. "Southbound I-75 south of I-94 near Mack, we're stopping traffic there because we don't want anybody going into that accident scene with the fire not knowing whether or not it's going to get worse."

I-75 tanker fire
(photo: Stephanie Davis/WWJ)

Cross also warns drivers not to turn around and go the other way on the closed freeways.

"First of all, it is illegal, it is dangerous and you could be ticketed," Cross said.

Motorists headed downtown to the Detroit Tigers game, the Movement electronic music festival or any other activities in the area are advised to take alternate routes, including the Lodge Freeway to Grand River, Bagley or Larned. In addition, drivers can take I-75 to Warren or Mack and then using the surface street.

[Stay with and LISTEN LIVE to WWJ Newsradio 950 for the latest]

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