Oxygen-tanker fire nearly causes evacuation of Mercer Street as integrity of I-5 remains in question

Jul 28, 2022, 2:34 PM | Updated: Jul 29, 2022, 9:06 am

7:30 p.m. update:

All lanes of southbound I-5 have opened just north of Mercer Street, according to WSDOT.

4:00 p.m. update:

The fire that engulfed a truck carrying liquid oxygen, shutting down I-5 in both directions, is under control, according to David Cuerpo, a spokesperson with Seattle Fire.

Seattle Fire Department is monitoring the truck for heat before the oxygen tanks can be removed.

Bridge inspectors are on the scene to ensure the integrity of I-5.

Washington State Patrol does not have an estimate of when southbound I-5 will reopen. That decision will be made by the bridge inspectors.

Seattle Fire originally had a .5-mile radius in place for all residents in the area to close all windows and doors, according to Cuerpo. At that time, the department was considering evacuating the area within a one-mile radius.

Before that decision was made, the fire was contained, and the area did not require evacuation.

3:50 p.m. update:

All lanes of southbound I-5 remain closed, although southbound express lanes are now open, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).

WSDOT recommends using alternate routes, including I-405, SR 99, city streets, or the train.

3:00 p.m. update:

Northbound I-5 has fully reopened, according to Washington State Patrol.

2:30 p.m.:

All lanes of southbound and northbound I-5 near Mercer Street are fully closed Thursday afternoon after a truck carrying oxygen tanks caught fire.

Washington State Patrol is considering evacuating the area within a mile radius, according to Rick Johnson, public information officer with Washington State Patrol.

Boeing field is sending specialized trucks that deal with airplane fires to the scene of the crash.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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Oxygen-tanker fire nearly causes evacuation of Mercer Street as integrity of I-5 remains in question