BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A fuel tanker rolled over and exploded as it was exiting the I-75 freeway at Opdyke Road in Bloomfield Township at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
There were no fatalities or serious injuries. The driver, a 50-year-old Detroit man, extricated himself from the truck and was treated at the scene by Bloomfield Township paramedics and firefighters. He was transported to an area hospital. He was not believed to be seriously injured.
Bloomfield Township Fire Chief Mike Morin said the initial investigation indicated the truck rolled over exiting the expressway, exploding and caught on fire. An enormous fireball and cloud of smoke rose over the area as the truck burst into flames.
There were immediate concerns about the environmental impact of the flames and smoke, however, the Michigan Department of Transportation has assumed control of the site and will do ground sampling. Air quality samples were also taken throughout the incident, but there is no indication of any health threats.
Chief Morin said the Opdyke Road exit of the eastbound business loop where the accident occurred will likely be closed for at least a week.
Firefighters had the fire under control and extinguished by about 11:30 p.m. Several other area public safety agencies assisted Bloomfield Township police and fire in the response including Waterford, Southfield, Birmingham, West Bloomfield, Auburn Hills, Madison Heights, Royal Oak, Ferndale, Rochester Hills, Bloomfield Hills, Troy, Oakland County and Star EMS.
“There was great cooperation among all the agencies,” Morin said. “We got a really good response from everyone. It just fell into place.”
“I am pleased that Bloomfield Township has such fine fire and police departments. They do a superior job, as was shown by their fast and efficient action in dealing with this situation,” said Bloomfield Township Leo Savoie supervisor.