Fiery Maryland tanker crash injures driver, closes lanes

PIKESVILLE, Md. (AP) — A fiery crash involving a tanker truck full of fuel briefly shut down the Interstate 795 expressway where it meets the Baltimore Beltway on Friday morning, injuring the driver and sending up a plume smoke that could be seen for miles, according to officials and news reports.

The crash happened around 6 a.m., according to the Maryland Department of Transportation. News outlets posted photos and video from the scene showing flames along the roadway and dark smoke billowing into the sky.

The driver was taken to University of Maryland Medical Center’s Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore for treatment, Maryland State Police tweeted. No other injuries were reported. He was in serious condition, Baltimore County Government said in a statement.

The crash initially shut down all lanes of the expressway, but southbound lanes opened shortly before 8 a.m. and the fire was extinguished by 9 a.m., officials said. The 8,500-gallon tanker truck was hauling heating oil and firefighters and crews from the Maryland Department of the Environment worked to recover any fuel that did not burn away, authorities said. The agency reported no environmental impact due to successful containment of the fuel, the county's statement said.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation by state police and motorists were urged to avoid the area.