The Riverside (91) Freeway finally reopened Friday night at 8:30 p.m. after a daylong closure that strangled Southern California traffic.
A tanker truck overturned and exploded Friday on the eastbound Riverside Freeway near the Corona (71) Expressway, shooting flames 100 feet into the air for hours, resulting in freeway closures at the start of the holiday weekend.
The crash occurred at about 10:30 a.m., according to the California Highway Patrol. No injuries were reported.
The CHP closed both sides of the Riverside (91) Freeway. The eastbound side was closed at Green River Road, and was expected to be partially opened by Friday evening.
The westbound side was closed at the Corona (71) Expressway and eventually opened around 3 p.m.
Corona and Riverside County fire crews raced to contain the raging conflagration, which burned for about four hours. The Press-Enterprise reported that the tanker was carrying compressed argon gas.
The blaze was extinguished at about 2:20 p.m., said Terri Kasinga of Caltrans.
"No matter which way you go tonight, coming home from the I.E. is going to be a nightmare," Kasinga said.
The big rig was apparently westbound on the 91 when it went out of control and slammed through the center divider. Another truck and at least two other cars were involved in the crash, according to the California Highway Patrol.