COUNCIL BLUFFS — At least one person is dead following a fiery one-vehicle crash Sunday on Interstate 29 near Avenue G in Council Bluffs.
About 3:30 p.m., a northbound semitrailer went off the Avenue G overpass and into the road below. The truck became airborne after striking a guardrail.
The rig caught fire. Diesel fuel that had spilled was ignited and was difficult to contain, said Jim Maaske, Council Bluffs' acting assistant fire chief.
“They had to put fire out to even get to the scene,” he said.
The fire, which was contained in about 10 minutes, damaged both sides of the bridge, and traffic was rerouted in both directions Sunday evening.
It appeared that the blaze damaged a support beam underneath the northbound bridge. An Iowa Department of Roads engineer was on the scene to determine what was required to open the bridge to traffic. The bridge reopened to traffic about 8:30 p.m., according to Iowa State Patrol dispatch.
Officials were being extra cautious, said Council Bluffs Police Sgt. Darren Budd.
“If the bridge has shifted, you don't want to put a big load on it — it could collapse,” he said. “We don't want to have another incident like Minneapolis had several years ago.”
It was unclear why the driver of the semi drifted off the side of the road. The speed limit on the bridge is 55 mph.
It also wasn't immediately clear whether the driver was alone in the truck at the time of the accident, officials said.