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Semi truck ignites after crashing on I-15

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Crews reopened the ramp at I-15 southbound for drivers taking Interstate 80 eastbound on Wednesday afternoon after six hours of clean up. (Photo: Morgan Saxton / KUTV)

(KUTV) -- Crews reopened the ramp at I-15 southbound for drivers taking Interstate 80 eastbound on Wednesday afternoon after six hours of clean up.

A 2News exclusive video shows a semi truck in flames moments after a crash.

"It's been very difficult for crews to get up in the engine compartment," said Salt Lake City Fire Battalion Chief Brady George after his crews had already been fighting flames for an hour and a half.

Officials say it was dark and the road was wet when the unidentified truck, transporting tomatoes, broke through a cement barrier.

A strange sight according to Battalion Chief George. He told 2News it take a lot of effort to bust through the cement wall stuck in the ground with rebar.

"Anytime we have big weather changes," George said, "we tend to see a lot of accidents." He specified I-80 eastbound and westbound heading down from Parleys Canyon are problem areas.

Both the driver and the passenger were tossed from the vehicle, but the fire department says it likely saved their lives.

"Anytime a vehicle is completely consume in flame when we arrive, it is always good they are out," said SLC Fire Captain Tony Allred.

According to authorities, weather and speed were likely factors in the crash.

Crews say it wasn't raining heavy at the time of the crash, but ponding could have forced the driver to lose control.

The Salt Lake County health department also showed up to make sure the diesel fuel from the truck didn't make it's way into the storm drain.

"No threat to drinking water or the community," said Ron Lund, an emergency manager with the health department. "It's in the middle of the freeway here."

Lund says it could take days before they test the water because they are waiting on the trucking company to assign an inspection team.

Also in the hands of the trucking company is the cost to repair the recently replaced cement barrier.

Utah Department of Transportation crews say that project alone will be upwards of $50,000.

Last winter there was a wreck in the same spot UDOT crews were forced to fix. It a lengthy repair process, according to officials.

Meanwhile, a temporary barrier will be put in place.



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