Human remains have been found in the wreckage of a part of Interstate 95 in Philadelphia one day after the elevated section collapsed following a truck fire, Pennsylvania State Police said.
The remains were turned over to the state Medical Examiner’s Office for identification. Officials have not yet identified the remains or said if they were those of the truck driver. A cousin of the driver identified him to CBS Philadelphia as Nathan Moody, a father of three from Willow Grove, Pennsylvania.
“At least one vehicle is still trapped underneath the collapsed roadway,” Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro said during a Sunday briefing at the scene. “We’re still working to identify any individual or individuals who may have been caught in the fire and the collapse.”
A tanker fire Sunday morning collapsed the northbound lanes of I-95, authorities said, and the southbound lanes were “compromised.” Shapiro said that the source of the fire was a commercial truck believed to be carrying a petroleum-based product. Police on Monday said it was carrying 8,500 gallons of gasoline. Shapiro said it would take “months” to repair the heavily-used interstate. He issued a disaster declaration on Monday.
Police said Monday that the driver lost control of the truck as they were trying to go around the curve of an exit ramp from the northbound side of the interstate. The truck then tipped over and landed on its side, “igniting the fire,” Pennsylvania Secretary of Transportation Mike Carroll said Monday. The heat from the fire weakened the I-beams supporting the overpass, causing it to collapse, Carroll said.
Crews worked Sunday into Monday clearing tons of debris, rubble and steel from the scene.
Carroll said that, despite not collapsing, the southbound portion of the overpass would need to be demolished because the I-beams were no longer capable of supporting traffic. He said a demolition plan would be in place and begin by the end of the day.
Around 160,000 vehicles travel on the impacted section of I-95 — a key East Coast highway that stretches from Maine to Florida — each day, Carroll said.
A National Transportation Safety Board team will investigate the fire and collapse, the agency said. The Federal Highway Administration is assisting with reopening the impacted portion of I-95.