— The Denver Post (@denverpost) November 8, 2017
A trash truck traveling on an Interstate 25 onramp this morning in Denver suddenly burst into flames and took about an hour to bring under control.
No one was injured when the truck, fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG), caught fire in its engine bay around 5:11 a.m. just as the driver was attempting to drive onto southbound I-25 at Bellview Avenue.
The onramp was shut-down as Denver firefighters took on the blaze and brought it under control about an hour after it began, according to denverpost.com. It’s unclear when firefighters first responded.
The blaze also caused some accidents, Fox 31 reported, as vehicles on the highway slowed down to take a look at the burning truck.
The ramp remained closed until 10:45 a.m. when firefighters, concerned that the fire may reignite, decided it was safe enough to remove the truck. The fire was so intense that it damaged the shoulder of the road and a concrete barrier, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation. A Fox 31 Facebook video below shows the truck burning about 22 minutes into the clip.
CNG vehicle fires can be dangerous. An Indianapolis firefighter was injured in 2015 and nearby businesses were damaged after a CNG tank exploded on a refuse truck that had caught fire, according to ABC affiliate RTV6.
However, CNG tanks are designed to vent and relieve pressure to avoid exploding when exposed to the high temperatures of a fire, according to Natural Gas Vehicles for America.
“The devices on those tanks will relieve the pressure well before the burst pressure of that tank. That’s part of the whole safety design of the CNG tank systems. Natural gas vehicles are very, very safe,” then NGVAmerica Marketing Director Stephe Yborra said in an NGVAmerica video released in 2011.