SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Authorities have reopened all southbound lanes of the Florida Turnpike, hours after a tractor trailer caught fire in Southwest Miami-Dade, Wednesday afternoon.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and Florida Highway Patrol troopers responded to the scene of the blaze on the southbound lanes of the Turnpike Extension, about 100 yards south of the Kendall Drive exit, at around 4:30 p.m.
Officials said the driver was able to pull off to the side of the road and exit the truck before it became fully engulfed.
7Skyforce HD hovered above the scene, just after 5 p.m., as crews put out the flames with a foam truck. The container itself was empty, so the roof collapsed.
Just after 5:30 p.m., authorities reopened one southbound lane. Traffic remained backed up on the roadway, so they urged motorists to seek alternate routes.
One driver, Carlos, said he had been waiting in traffic for at least two hours. “This is very bad,” he said. “I’ve been waiting two hours. I’m coming from Boynton Beach.”
The remaining closed lanes were later reopened.
Still, Turnpike traffic didn’t ease up until after 7 p.m., leaving drivers frustrated.
“My exit is about 10 miles up the road, and I spent a full hour on the freeway,” said one driver.
“I’ve been here a whole hour,” said Barbara, another driver. “It’s terrible.”
Tow trucks hauled away the remaining scrap heap from the scene, late Wednesday night.
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