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Tanker Explosion Closes I-70 Near I-435 in Kansas City

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A fiery wreck and explosion closed down both directions of Interstate 70 in east Kansas City Friday morning (May 7) after a tanker truck carrying an alcohol-based solution crashed and exploded on the highway.

According to, The crash occurred just before 5 a.m. when the load of polyacetate, a substance used in glue, shifted and caused the tanker to crash into the median and burst into flames.  The driver jumped out of the truck just before the crash and was treated for only minor injuries.  Although a concrete median was destroyed and an overhead road sign was melted in the fire, no other vehicles were involved in the crash.

Traffic is being stopped at I-435 on the east and Highway 40 on the west, and is expected to remain closed until midday in order to clean up the scene.

UPDATE (June 7, 12:51 p.m.): Damage to the tanker’s valves is adding to the challenge of off-loading hazardous, flammable material from an overturned semi-tanker that has blocked both eastbound and westbound I-70 at I-435 since 5 a.m. this morning.  MoDOT believes that reopening the interstate may not occur until well after 8 p.m. tonight, based on revised estimates of the dangerous nature of the cleanup.


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