Major delays on I-275 West near the airport due to crash clearance

There are major delays Wednesday morning on the highway closest to the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

Be sure to allow extra time if you head that way on Interstate 275 westbound in Erlanger.

Only two lanes are open as crews continue to clean up an overnight crash between two semis, a fire and a fuel spill, according to Erlanger police.

The incident initially closed all westbound lanes for several hours midway between the I-71/71 and I-275 interchange and the Mineola Pike exit. It was reported shortly before 11 p.m. Tuesday, said police Sg. Erlanger. Kyle Thornberry.

Traffic could not be rerouted for more than two hours for safety reasons while firefighters extinguished a fire and state highway crews cleaned up a fuel leak from one of the semis, he said.

The highway “has been closed pretty much all night,” said Sgt. Thornberry said. “We hope to get this open soon and get everything back to normal.”

A semi with a trailer full of furniture rear-ended a semi without a trailer and the first semi’s engine caught fire, Fire Chief Justin Brinkman said.

The fire at one point shot 10 to 15 feet into the air as it spread to the semi’s cab and trailer, also catching furniture on fire.

“It was pretty impressive,” the battalion chief said.

Crews were delayed in fighting the fire because they had to stop and drag out couches and armchairs to reach the rest of the trailer.

They also had to deal with a fuel leak.

The diesel tank of the same semi ruptured during the crash and leaked about half a tank of diesel fuel onto the highway, he said.

He estimated that 300 to 400 feet of fuel seeped onto the highway “like a glaze. It wasn’t pouring or anything. It left a thin film of diesel fuel on the highway, so to speak.”

Fortunately, he said, the fuel did not ignite.

Firefighters have since extinguished the fire, but the trailer is still a total loss, he said.

One of the semi drivers, the one driving the truck without a trailer, was transported to St. Elizabeth Florence with minor injuries, fire and police officials said.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Enquirer media partner Fox 19 provided this report.

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