EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Two semi-trailer trucks erupted in a massive fire following a crash on the northbound New Jersey Turnpike in East Brunswick Township Wednesday evening, forcing authorities to shut down all northbound lanes.
Flames were billowing from the trucks as the sun went down, on the northbound side of the turnpike south of Interchange 9-New Jersey Route 18 in East Brunswick Township.
As CBS2’s Jessica Schneider reported, giant fireballs and thunderous explosions were seen in the area where the Turnpike runs through East Brunswick.
The semi-trailer trucks were involved in a crash on the turnpike, and one of them exploded, according to New Jersey State Police.
The accident scene spanned the entire width of the road.
The drivers both suffered minor injuries, state police said.
Cellphone video appeared to show the cab of one truck consumed by flames. A line of fire then extended hundreds of feet down the road.
The northbound inner and outer roadways on the turnpike were all closed as of just before 8:30 p.m., officials said. The southbound side remained open.
Late Wednesday night, traffic was starting to move again on one of the northbound inner lanes, but the others remained closed.
The delay on the Turnpike amounted to 10 miles, from Exit 7A all the way to Interchange 9. Hundreds of trucks and cars were stuck behind the accident and did not move for two and a half hours, CBS2’s Joe Biermann reported.
CBS2’s Biermann reported the sparks and flames rained down on the streets just east of the New Jersey Turnpike in East Brunswick. The local fire department was going out street by street to make sure the fire had not spread.
The East Brunswick Fire Department said there was no evidence found of the fire spreading.
Multiple people posted videos from the scene to Twitter. One clip showed a car appearing to pass right next to the burning truck as its occupants screamed in terror.
Video from a distance showed sparks flying and plumes of black smoke wafting into the air.
The smoke and flames were even seen from nearby residential neighborhoods.
People who live near the Turnpike recorded a series of explosions that sounded like fireworks. The thick smoke rising from the scene could be spotted many miles away.
One of the trucks was reportedly carrying medical supplies, Schneider reported.