Both directions of I-77 tunnel reopen after fire

PRINCETON, W.Va. (AP) — The northbound lanes of an Interstate 77 tunnel along the Virginia-West Virginia border have reopened after being shut down for a day following a tractor-trailer fire.

The accident Friday closed the East River Mountain Tunnel in both directions, filling the air with thick, black smoke and backing up traffic for miles.

Media outlets report the second of two northbound lanes reopened Saturday night. The southbound lanes had reopened Friday night.

Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Michelle Earl says crews are set to repair tunnel lights Sunday, while other work such as cleaning and tile inspection and repair will be necessary.

East River volunteer fire Capt. Nelson Short in Princeton says burning cardboard on the truck and the tunnel’s limited oxygen supply caused the massive amount of smoke.

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