INDIANAPOLIS — A firefighter was injured and Interstate 465 was closed for hours Saturday after a tanker truck carrying 3,000 gallons of diesel fuel caught fire on the east side of Indianapolis.
The driver of the tanker, Anthony Ayres, 47, of Browns Oil Services, had left a repair shop on Pendleton Pike and was headed south on I-465 to Harding Street when he heard a bang and pulled to the side of the road just after 8 a.m., according to a news release from the Indianapolis Fire Department.
Ayres told firefighters he saw the semi on fire through his mirrors and he believed the drive shaft came loose and punctured a hole in the tank. Ayres jumped from the truck unharmed, according to IFD.
All southbound lanes of I-465 were closed for more than four hours, while the northbound lanes were shut down for nearly two hours after the truck caught fire near the Washington Street exit.
A firefighter was cut on the face on the way to the scene when a side view mirror on the fire engine made contact with a side view mirror on the tanker. The glass from the mirror shattered, flew into the open window of the engine and hit the firefighter in the face.
The unidentified firefighter was transported to Eskenazi Hospital, according to IFD.
The fire took more than an hour-and-a-half to control as crews also had to put out fires in nearby vegetation and on the guardrail, according to IFD. Firefighters used booms, foam and powder to contain runoff from the tanker, but fuel entered a nearby creek and traveled north for about a half-mile.
On Feb. 20, a tanker carrying 4,000 gallons of jet fuel crashed and exploded on a ramp from I-70 to I-465, about two miles from the site of Saturday's fire. The driver of the tanker, Jeffrey Denman, 59, of Brownsburg, suffered severe burns in the crash and died two weeks later.