Durban in gridlock after N2 tanker fire

Jeff Wicks, News24

Durban - Areas in Durban remain chocked with gridlocked traffic after a tanker fire forced the closure of the N2 freeway and parts of Sarnia Road on Tuesday morning.

eThekwini Metro Police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Eugene Msomi said the freeway would remain closed until “after lunch”.

“Both of the N2 carriageways are totally closed between the M7 and M1. Sarnia Road is also closed at the bridge and traffic is being diverted around this area,” he said.

“We have engineers on the scene at the moment assessing the structural damage to the bridge and they tell us that the structure is still hot. They need to do their assessment in an environment that is safe so they are waiting for this to cool down.

“We are looking at after lunch where things may have changed, and we can consider opening the roads depending on the outcomes on the bridge assessment,” Msomi added.

“This has affected traffic all over the city as these are main routes which are now closed during the morning peak. This has had a severe ripple effect.”

He said that one of the tankers still had heated fuel in it, which needed to be pumped out.

“This cannot be done until it has cooled down, so this is also delaying us.”

Motorist Caryn Pearson told News24 she had been stuck in morning traffic bound for Amanzimtoti for over two hours.

“At one stage I moved 4km on the N2 in the space of an hour. I am never going to the South Coast again!” she exclaimed.