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Burning semi-truck hauling diapers makes big mess on interstate near Butte

diaper truck.jpg
Posted at 4:59 PM, Jul 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-23 22:19:07-04

BERNICE - A semi-truck loaded with diapers caught on fire and tied up traffic on Interstate 15 north of Butte.

It was just before 11 a.m. when the semi-truck traveling north on the highway about 25 miles north of Butte ran into trouble.

“The driver stated he was having a mechanical issue, and he was only doing about 30 miles an hour, and he heard a pop in the back. By the time he got pulled over and out of the vehicle, he noticed there were flames underneath the rear axle of the truck,” said Trooper Michael O’Connor with the Montana Highway Patrol.

The truck soon became fully involved in a fire before fire crews from Jefferson and Butte-Silver Bow counties could get to the scene.

“When I pulled up here the flames were at minimum 30 feet in the air and it was down in the brush probably 100 yards towards the river,” said O’Connor.

A Forest Service crew was on hand to stop the fire from spreading in the brush, while firefighters tried to put out the burning truck. The truck was fully loaded with diapers that kept burning.

Northbound traffic was stalled on the interstate for almost two hours due to the incident.

“We have troopers miles back there that are diverting traffic on to the cattle access road and obviously everyone that’s been up here has had to sit here and wait,” said trooper said.

No injuries were reported in this incident.