- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 1, 2006

4:24 p.m.

D.C. transportation officials said it may be several more hours before Interstate 295 is reopened following a morning collision between a tanker truck and a tractor-trailer on Kenilworth Avenue.

The crash happened about 8 a.m. after the driver of the tractor-trailer slowed down to ensure that the truck would meet the height requirement at the Eastern Avenue overpass on northbound Kenilworth Avenue, officials said.

The 8,300-gallon tanker slammed into the tractor-trailer and veered into a jersey wall before its cab burst into flames.

The crash technically occurred in the District, but Prince George’s County Fire Department spokesman Mark Brady said firefighters responding to a blaze in a teachers administrative area at Fairmont Heights High School in Capitol Heights saw signs of the fire a mile away and responded to the scene.

“We noticed a large column of thick, black smoke rising above the tree line,” Mr. Brady said.

Prince George’s County firefighters used hoses to put out the blaze from the raised roads above the crash, while D.C. firefighters approached the fire on the ground from the south.

Mr. Brady said the only persons involved in the accident were the drivers of the two trucks, and neither was injured.

About 100 gallons of diesel fuel spilled onto the roadway, D.C. fire department spokesman Alan Etter said.

Mr. Brady said the fuel came from the tanker truck’s saddle tanks, which are used to fuel the truck, and not from the 8,300-gallon tank.

Regional transportation officials have closed Interstate 295 northbound from the 11th Street Bridge to the Baltimore Washington Parkway and closed D.C. 295 southbound from Kenilworth Avenue to Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue while crews work to transfer the tanker’s fuel and clean up the spill.

The crash was the second on a major area thoroughfare that caused morning traffic into the Northeast quadrant of the District to ground to a halt this morning.

About 7:30 a.m., a carjacked truck being chased by Prince George’s County police crashed into several cars on New York Avenue Northeast, forcing the closure of westbound Route 50 for more than two hours.

Miles of cars and trucks, brake lights flashing, lined the roadways for hours during the morning rush hour as authorities sorted through the debris and worked to clear the streets.

In the carjacking incident, Prince George’s County police began chasing a 2005 Dodge Dakota about 7:10 a.m.

The truck entered the District on New York Avenue about 20 minutes later and crashed into several vehicles, Metropolitan Police said.

Four persons were arrested after the crash.

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