Update 6:08 p.m. — Indiana State Police have shut down northbound I-65 at the 64 mile marker, which is the Walesboro exit at State Road 58, to divert more traffic off the northbound lanes of the interstate. Motorists are being sent through Southern Crossing to northbound U.S. 31 to alleviate traffic in Columbus, which is already congested as the city is planning its Fourth of July fireworks tonight at the Columbus Municipal AirPark on the north side. The northbound lanes of I-65 could be closed between Walesboro and north of Columbus until after 9 p.m., police have estimated.
Update 5:44 p.m. — Indiana State Police and Columbus police are closing the northbound lanes of Interstate 65 at the Columbus exit to allow emergency vehicles access to the semi fire. The northbound lanes could be closed into the evening as the work continues, firefighters said. Traffic is being diverted off the interstate at State Road 46 and directed to U.S. 31.
Columbus Township and German Township firefighters are still at the scene of a semi trailer filled with canned food that caught fire at about 3:22 p.m. today in the northbound lanes of Interstate 65 at the 72.5 mile marker north of Columbus.
Columbus Township Chief Dave Thompson saw the fire and called it in as the semi driver was unhooking his vehicle from the trailer on the shoulder of the interstate, said German Township Deputy Chief Matt Lynch.
The fire damaged the trailer and the interior above the rear wheels, Lynch said.
One Columbus Township firefighter was overheated at the scene, and was checked by ambulance personnel but did not require being taken to the hospital, Lynch said.
Indiana State Police and Columbus police continue to divert traffic off the northbound lanes of the interstate at the State Road 46 interchange at Columbus as firefighters continue to work at the scene.
For more on this story, see Tuesday’s Republic.