I-25 back open after tanker cleanup completed

Published: May. 26, 2016 at 7:28 AM MDT
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UPDATE, 1:43 p.m.:

I-25 has reopened in both directions after crews complete accident cleanup.


PREVIOUS, 5/27 12:30 p.m.:

For the second day in a row, travelers on a lengthy stretch of I-25 will be advised to find an alternate route, as workers continue to clean up a semi-truck wreck.

The truck, which was hauling butane, rolled over and caught fire on I-25 between Colorado City and Pueblo Thursday morning. The cab and tank split during the rollover, then the cab burst into flames, trapping the driver inside. State Patrol tells 11 News he was transported to the hospital and is believed to be in critical condition.

Rye firefighters were able to put the flames out, while troopers also responded.

Crews say the tank was leaking after the crash, which is why it took so long to safely transfer the butane to another taker.

"Our technicians have actually examined the structure. They determined that the structure may have been compromised. So in order to upright it, we are going to need to have some heavy equipment to actually do that, but the fact it's compromised is going to complicate those matters," said State Patrol Sgt. Steve Ortiz.

In the meantime, storm clouds started to move in, which forced crews to postpone clearing the rest of the wreckage from the scene.

CDOT put up a temporary barrier to caution drivers.

The crash forced both sides of the interstate to close, though after a couple of hours drivers were able to get through the northbound lanes. At 2:45 p.m. Thursday, the southbound side finally reopened. However, that opening was short-lived: CDOT announced just before 9 a.m. Friday that southbound had been shut down between mile marker 77 and mile marker 91 -- or in other words, from just north of Colorado City to the south end of Pueblo.

Northbound I-25 was closed at mile marker 74 for about an hour late Friday morning. It has since reopened.

Southbound lanes are expected to reopen sometime after 1 p.m.

State Patrol recommends taking this alternate route:

If heading southbound, at Pueblo go east on Highway 50 to La Junta, then west on Highway 50 to Pueblo and continue north on I-25.

Editor's note: Authorities originally reported the the semi-truck exploded. They now say that was not the case.