Tractor-trailer hauling coveted N95 coronavirus masks catches fire on Tennessee highway

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A tractor-trailer hauling much needed N95 coronavirus masks and other medical personal protective equipment caught fire over the weekend on a highway in Tennessee.

Tennessee troopers reported the fire destroyed a shipment of N95 coronavirus masks and other medical personal protective equipment according to the Smith County Insider news outlet.

Tennessee troopers reported the fire destroyed a shipment of N95 coronavirus masks and other medical personal protective equipment according to the Smith County Insider news outlet. (Smith County Insider)

“The fire fully engulfed the trailer and burned it and its contents,” says a Tennessee Highway Patrol incident report obtained by the Smith County Insider.

The news outlet reported that the fire happened around 5 a.m. Saturday on I-40 in Smith County.

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Smith County emergency management director Sonny Carter told the Insider the fire appeared to have started in the rear wheels of the trailer.

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The reported happened around 5 a.m. Saturday on I-40 in Smith County.

The reported happened around 5 a.m. Saturday on I-40 in Smith County. (Smith County Insider)

Troopers said that when the driver noticed the fire, he pulled to the shoulder and attempted to extinguish the fire.

The driver was not injured.

The N95 masks filter out 95 pecnet of all airborne particles and are in demand among medical workers treating coronavirus patients at hospitals and nursing homes. Shortages in coronavirus hotspots have been reported.

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It was unclear where the shipment was headed.