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Cancun airport interchange shut for 11 hours due to overturned fuel tanker

Cancun, Q.R. — Cancun police and highway authorities spent more than half of a day dealing with an overturned gas tanker that crashed on a corner. Passing motorists made the report of the overturned double long semi just before noon Thursday.

City officials arriving to confirm the report found the front tanker of the semi laying on its side. The driver was transporting more than 60,000 liters of jet fuel when he overturned taking a corner.

The accident was reported to the public by both the City of Cancun and Cancun Transit. Both authorities warned motorists of the overturn which happened on Colosio Boulevard at the Airport interchange.

“A traffic incident was reported with a double-trailer fuel tanker overturned on Blvd. Colosio at the Airport interchange heading south to north (Playa del Carmen – Cancun).

“Preventive partial closures are being carried out to allow the National Guard and emergency units to work on the site. Two lanes of traffic remain open,” Tránsito de Cancun reported.

National Guard, Cancun firemen, Civil Protection and Municipal Police were at the scene for nearly 11 hours Thursday.
Photo: Ayuntamiento de Benito Juárez June 6, 2024.

Roads into the area were immediately closed forcing city motorist to find an alternate route using the two main lanes that were left open. The interchange road was shut after investigating officials realized fuel had spilled.

Several heavy duty tow trucks were required to up-right the overturned tanker. Photos: Ayuntamiento de Benito Juárez June 6, 2024.

According to one official at the scene, the driver was transporting two 32,000 liter tanks of jet fuel of which approximately 80 percent of the first overturned tank spilled.

“The current danger is that some minor ignition source, such as a cigarette butt, could trigger a major contingency,” an on-site fire coordinator said regarding the Thursday accident.

It wasn’t until around 11:00 p.m. that the fuel spill cleanup was finished and the overturned semi finally up-righted. Several heavy duty tow trucks were brought in to pull the first tanker back into position. Officials at the scene did not comment on possible charges.