I-65 in Johnson County reopens after early morning semi fire


Photo from Indiana State Police

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UPDATE: State police reopened all NB I-65 lanes at 4 p.m.

JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. (Aug. 11, 2015) -- A stretch of I-65 North has been closed since about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday in Johnson County because of a fire involving a semi truck. State police say they believe the area could remain closed through the evening rush hour.

State police initially said the interstate wouldn't reopen until 6 p.m. because crews still had to clean up wreckage, lithium batteries and fuel. INDOT will also have to repave the road. INDOT spokesman Harry Maginity was hopeful the interstate would be reopened closer to 3:30 p.m.

It happened around 6:30 a.m. near mile marker 93 between Franklin and Whiteland. The truck is a total loss. State police found the driver of the truck and said he's fine. I-65 was closed south of exit 90 (State Road 44) in Franklin. Northbound I-65 traffic is being diverted onto U.S. 31 at the Taylorsville exit north of Columbus. Traffic south of the crash site is being routed to the State Road 44 exit at Franklin. INDOT said northbound I-65 is closed between mile markers 76.0 and 95.0.

Earlier in the morning, the Johnson County Sheriff's Office urged all homeowners in the area to stay inside because of the smoke plume from the fire. Department officials had said battery acid could be involved, They gave the "all-clear" just before 9 a.m.

Hazmat crews were called to inspect the scene. Investigators said it appeared the truck sideswiped a construction barrier and ruptured its fuel tank.

INDOT said all lanes were closed and drivers should expect delays.

Image courtesy Derick Kurtz
Image courtesy Derick Kurtz

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