Semi fire closes I-494 at Highway 169

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A semi truck that rolled onto the median at Interstate 494 and Highway 169 and caught fire closed both lanes of traffic for several hours, including all of the evening rush, according to Minnesota State Patrol.

Thursday, a collision between the semi and another vehicle in the exit lanes to 169 from 494 in Bloomington caused the semi to lose control. The truck went through the exit lanes to 169 across the grass median and all of the westbound lanes of 494 before it rolled over up onto the center median of 494 and caught fire.

Thanks to heroic actions by people nearby, the semi driver escaped the flames. Responders took the driver to a nearby hospital and received treatment for minor injuries.

"What we learned subsequently is a couple of bystanders or good Samaritans had stopped and assisted the truck driver from the cab of the truck before the fire got too much involved in the cab," said Capt. Mike Hanson, who serves as the West Metro District Commander for State Patrol. "They pulled him out just in the nick of time."

The crash into the median caused broke the concrete barrier, sending large chunks into the road. Some of the eastbound vehicles hit the debris as it flew across the lanes.

The crash impacted traffic for hours, as they initially closed down 494 in both direction. Eastbound 494 later reopened. Westbound 494 is expected to reopen by 10:30 p.m.