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U.S. 31 bypass closed after tanker fire; southbound lanes could be closed for days

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – St. Joseph County police say the southbound lanes of U.S. 31 bypass could be closed for several days after a tanker caught fire early Monday morning.

Police say the northbound lanes will be closed the rest of the day Monday.

Investigators say the fire cracked the road and melted some of the guard rails on the side of the road. The stretch of bypass will have to be torn up and repaved.

St. Joseph County officials say the road is closed between Mayflower Road and Nimitz Parkway.

Homes along Sundown and Orange Roads, which run parallel to U.S. 31, were evacuated. People have since been allowed back into their homes.

A fire safety officer at the scene said the tanker had three compartments that blew at separate times. 

The fire started in the bottom near the breaks before blowing any of the gasoline tanks.

No injuries were reported. 

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