Tractor trailer crash, fire complicates Beltway traffic around Alexandria

The cleanup was underway after Thursday's crash and fire on the Beltway. (Courtesy Fairfax Fire and Rescue)
The cleanup was underway after Thursday’s crash and fire on the Beltway. (Courtesy Fairfax Fire and Rescue) (Courtesy Fairfax Fire and Rescue)
The cleanup was underway after Thursday's crash and fire on the Beltway. (Courtesy Fairfax Fire and Rescue)
The cleanup was underway after Thursday’s crash and fire on the Beltway. (Courtesy Fairfax Fire and Rescue) (Courtesy Fairfax Fire and Rescue)
Fire crews extinguish Thursday afternoon's fire on the Capital Beltway in Virginia. (Courtesy Virginia State Police)
Fire crews extinguish Thursday afternoon’s fire on the Capital Beltway in Virginia. (Courtesy Virginia State Police) (Courtesy Virginia State Police)
Fire crews extinguish Thursday afternoon's fire on the Capital Beltway in Virginia. (Courtesy Virginia State Police)
Fire crews extinguish Thursday afternoon’s fire on the Capital Beltway in Virginia. (Courtesy Virginia State Police) (Courtesy Virginia State Police)
The fire affected traffic in both loops. (Courtesy Virginia State Police)
The fire Thursday affected traffic in both loops. (Courtesy Virginia State Police) (Courtesy Virginia State Police)
The crash Thursday afternoon blocked the Capital Beltway.(WTOP listener photo)
The crash Thursday afternoon had blocked the Capital Beltway. (WTOP listener photo) (WTOP listener photo)
The fire is on the Beltway near Van Dorn Street. (Courtesy VDOT)
The crash and fire occurred on the Beltway near Van Dorn Street. (Courtesy VDOT) (Courtesy VDOT)
The fire is on the Beltway near Van Dorn Street. (Courtesy VDOT)
The crash and fire occurred on the Beltway near Van Dorn Street. (Courtesy VDOT) (Courtesy VDOT)
The fire is on the Beltway near Van Dorn Street. (Courtesy VDOT)
Beltway traffic was backed up Thursday afternoon due to the crash and vehicle fire. (Courtesy VDOT) (Courtesy VDOT)
(Courtesy VDOT)
(1/10)
The cleanup was underway after Thursday's crash and fire on the Beltway. (Courtesy Fairfax Fire and Rescue)
The cleanup was underway after Thursday's crash and fire on the Beltway. (Courtesy Fairfax Fire and Rescue)
Fire crews extinguish Thursday afternoon's fire on the Capital Beltway in Virginia. (Courtesy Virginia State Police)
Fire crews extinguish Thursday afternoon's fire on the Capital Beltway in Virginia. (Courtesy Virginia State Police)
The fire affected traffic in both loops. (Courtesy Virginia State Police)
The crash Thursday afternoon blocked the Capital Beltway.(WTOP listener photo)
The fire is on the Beltway near Van Dorn Street. (Courtesy VDOT)
The fire is on the Beltway near Van Dorn Street. (Courtesy VDOT)
The fire is on the Beltway near Van Dorn Street. (Courtesy VDOT)

One week after an overturned tanker caused a nightmarish commute around D.C., another big incident on the Beltway caused headaches Thursday afternoon.

Traffic on the Capital Beltway had been stopped due to a tractor trailer crash and fire between exits 173 (Van Dorn) and 170 (Springfield) in Alexandria.

The tractor trailer struck the jersey wall on the Inner Loop sometime around 1:35 p.m. and spilled part of its cargo onto the Outer Loop lanes, according to a statement from the Virginia Department of Transportation. That cargo of insulation then caught fire, Virginia State Police said. The driver is safe.

As of 4:25 p.m., all travel lanes had been reopened and the cleanup was finished, but it was still slow around the scene.


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Earlier, VDOT warned that the impacts could be felt into the rush hour. “Consider remaining at work or home or staying off of the interstate. Commuters should avoid the area and seek alternate routes,” they said in a statement.

Some listeners affected by the incident shared their perspectives with WTOP, and it was about what one would expect.

“I was sitting in bumper-to-bumper for a half-hour — like standstill … nothing,” said one.

Another listener had been stuck since 2:10 p.m. “We are inching along, but at least we’re not sitting anymore,” she said.

Metro added cars and trains to the Blue Line to accommodate commuters affected by the crash.

The incident comes exactly one week after an overturned tanker blocked the Inner Loop near the American Legion Bridge and disrupted traffic for over 13 hours.

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