Video shows vehicle with liquid oxygen catching fire, multiple explosions on I-5 in Seattle

The southbound lanes of Interstate 5 closed Thursday afternoon at Downtown Seattle after a vehicle with liquid oxygen tanks caught fire and began to explode. After a shutdown of several hours, the highway reopened.

According to the Seattle Fire Department, no injuries were reported. It was too early to know what caused the fire, but officials said they suspected a possible maintenance issue with the truck itself.

All lanes were closed around 1:30 p.m. between Mercer and State Route 520. Around 2:30 p.m., northbound lanes reopened.

The express lanes were closed for several hours but have since reopened to allow southbound traffic to pass through downtown Seattle.

Photo credit: Robert Galvin

Authorities said there were liquid oxygen tanks on the vehicle that appeared to explode for at least 30 minutes.

Firefighters were eventually able to use foam to put out the fire.

Shortly before 4:30 p.m., firefighters said the fire was out.

Officials informed residents living near I-5 at Lakeview Blvd. E to close their windows and doors to avoid being exposed to toxic smoke from the fire.

David H. Henry