While I was gone up north, part of my neighborhood blew up.
I live about a mile and a quarter from the 9 Mile Road bridge over Interstate 75 in Hazel Park. On Wednesday, July 15, around 8:30 p.m., it is said that a car lost control and caused a tanker and semi to crash. The tanker then exploded (several times, actually), which caused the bridge above and the pavement below to melt. Smoke could be seen up to 15 miles away. The fire burned for hours, well into the next day. There were no fatalities and the tanker driver suffered only minor bumps and bruises.
My nephew and his family live about a half-mile from the site. Their electricity was out until 3 a.m. Thursday, as power lines that run across the bridge were also destroyed. They also experienced wind-blown smoke and gasoline fumes.
I was 450 miles away in Marquette at the Ott Lake Rambler’s house, and was checking out Facebook while he dealt with a disaster of smaller proportions (a non-functioning fluorescent light in the kitchen) before we went to Hiawatha. Many of my friends on Facebook reported on it. See, Facebook IS a good thing.
My mom reported on Monday that I-75 had been very speedily repaved and was open again. (I avoided the interchange on my way home from up north, just to be safe, so I didn’t know the status.) It will take a lot longer to rebuild that bridge, which had just been renovated last year.
- Inferno shuts I-75, melts 9 Mile bridge in the Detroit Free Press (may be lost to their paid archives soon)
- UPDATES: I-75 Closed After Huge Explosion — Channel 7 news story, with a slideshow and video.
- I-75 Bridge in Hazel Park, Michigan, Collapses: Tanker Explosion at NowPublic.com — I’m not sure about the accuracy of the text but the photos are outstanding.