JOPLIN, Mo. — About 12:30 am Joplin Emergency Dispatch began receiving alerts of a burning semi along I-44. It was a semi tractor fire and the reports were relayed the cab of the truck was ‘fully involved‘.
Joplin Fire Department, METS Ambulance, Newton County Ambulance, Joplin Police responded.
The crash occurred in the westbound lanes of I-44, involving a semi and a passenger car. The driver of the passenger car suffered minor injuries. The male driver of the semi suffered non life-threatening injuries and was transported to a Freeman hospital.
Sgt Dan Haskins of the Joplin Police Department tells us the passenger vehicle involved remained 1/4 mile east, behind the semi, disabled, near the exit ramp to Rangeline if traveling north (near Chili’s).
The semi cab was completely destroyed, it was hauling a piece of equipment that appeared to be a long ramp. It was not a HAZMAT load. However the oils, fuel, etc left behind from the fire required clean up. Joplin Fire Department contacted MoDot and DNR (Missouri Department of Natural Resources) to assist in clean up.
NOTE: This fire was fought using tankers. It was suggested by some in past Joplin City Council budgets to eliminate the expensive cost of tankers. However it was noted there are no hydrants along I-44. And tonight was the example of why Joplin Fire Department has tankers.
All lanes were reopened at 4:47 AM. Earlier information below.
- DETOUR I-44 WESTBOUND
- All traffic west must exit at 249, 12 MM.
- All traffic east resumed normal traffic flow at 1:45 AM.
- Unknown how long I-44 west will be closed.