Huge fire erupts on North Carolina highway after tractor-trailer hauling 8,500 gallons of gas crashes

A large tractor-trailer hauling 8,500 gallons of gasoline reportedly hit an icy part of the road on I-73 in Greensboro, North Carolina, which sent the vehicle flying. The tractor-trailer flipped onto its side, igniting a massive fire that forced officials to close portions of the highway Thursday morning.

The incident occurred during the morning rush hour commute near the Holden Road exit, the Greensboro Fire Department confirmed to Fox 8.

Highway Patrol told Fox 8 the driver of the tractor-trailer was able to exit the vehicle before it was completely engulfed in flames. He suffered minor injuries and was transported from the scene by emergency medical services (EMS). No other injuries have been reported.

Within hours, fire crews were able to extinguish the flames but the North Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT) warned all lanes of I-73 South near Exit 97 would remain closed for an "extended period" of time. The agency provided drivers a variety of detours.

Structural engineers will examine the bridge for potential damage from the flame and determine whether it is safe to reopen.

Motorists who were brought to a stop ahead of that particular stretch of highway shared photos and videos of the huge flames and black plumes of smoke on social media earlier Tuesday, echoing officials' advice to avoid the area. Many reported that traffic was at a standstill.