“Oh My God, I Hope There's No People in There!”

Tanker Truck Explodes on Freeway in Oakland

A huge tanker fire closed Interstate 880 in Oakland in both directions at the height of the Wednesday morning commute.

The vehicle exploded after it hit a car at about 6:15 a.m. Witnesses said a black Acura ran into the center divide and the tanker truck couldn't avoid it and it collided with the car. Up to five vehicles were involved in the crash, according to the CHP.

The fire from the explosion started out fairly big and continued to grow as the chopper watched from overhead. Helicopter pilots from as far north as Napa reported seeing the smoke from the fire

"Oh my God, I hope there's no people in there, " one witness said.

Miraculously, no one was hurt in the crash or the fire.

Tens of thousands of drivers were affected by the closure.

The fire, which was confined to the highway, burned intensely for more than an hour. It was controlled around 7:30 a.m., an Oakland fire dispatcher said.

The tanker truck was carrying at least 8,600 gallons of fuel, according to CalTrans.

The CHP turned vehicles around on the freeway and said the southbound lanes would be closed for several hours.

Shortly after 8 a.m., the CHP reopened two northbound lanes and traffic began to crawl through the area.

The CHP advised drivers traveling into Oakland to take an alternate route of Interstate Highway 980 to Interstate Highway 580.

By noon, drivers weren't allowed to take 880 south off of the Bay Bridge.

With traffic diverted crews were able to grind down the concrete, put in temporary asphalt and reopen the highway at 7:30 p.m..

The U.S. Coast Guard says about 10 gallons of gasoline leaked from the crash scene into storm drains and into the Oakland-Alameda Estuary.

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