A major crash in Genesee County's Davison Township forced authorities to close I-69 between Irish and Belsay roads in each direction. The westbound lanes have since reopened and now we've received word that one lane on the eastbound side has reopened.
MDOT officials told TV5 Friday morning that two lanes of eastbound I-69 will remain closed indefinitely as crews investigate the damage.
Rescue crews responded to the scene of a semi-truck that went over an I-69 guard rail, crashed onto Irish Road and then exploded.
That crash happened around 11 a.m. Thursday not far from Belsay Road. HAZMAT crews responded to the scene after it was learned the truck was carrying tens of thousands of pounds of crude oil. The crash caused a fire which meant toxic fumes were released.
The Michigan Department of Transportation reports that the westbound lanes of I-69 reopened around 9:30pm Thursday night. The eastbound lanes, between Belsay and M-15, remain closed to allow state bridge crews to investigate the extent of the damage done to the highway and to make repairs. Several lanes of eastbound I-69 will remain closed for the duration of the repair work.
Due to the winds in the area, many of the businesses and homes located southwest of the crash were evacuated, including a Meijer store and a gas station. The evacuation order was lifted around 1:15 p.m. Thursday. Officials had urged residents to stay indoors for their safety.
The driver of the semi-truck was able to walk away from the scene of the explosion with only minor injuries.
Stay with WNEM.com and TV5 as we learn more about this situation.
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