People who drove to Oakland today despite the warnings not to reported very light traffic! You don't say!
Schwarzenegger is coming to tour the scene and do a press conference around 10:30 pm tonight.
Oakland FD used water and not foam to fight the fire because they didn't want the foam to run off and pollute the Bay. It took two hours to put out once the bridge collapsed.
The driver's in okay condition (burns on the face, neck, and hands) and was transferred from Oakland Kaiser to the SF St. Francis burn center. Don't you kind of wonder what route they took to get him across the bay? He has a valid driver's license, no previous record, and didn't appear to be under the influence of anything at the time of the accident. He was driving from a Benicia refinery to a gas station near the Oakland airport.
The last accident in that area was in Feb 1995, when a truck carrying liquid gas lost control while changing lanes, killing the driver, injuring 10 people, and causing an all-day traffic jam.
The heat of the explosion melted the steel girders and the bolts holding up the bridge, which caused the bridge to slide off and snap the retrofitting cables holding it in place. A preliminary estimate of damages is around $20 million, assuming the bottom level (where the truck exploded) doesn't need work too. Caltrans has already hired a demolition crew and is getting started on repairs. They're totally heroes.
Here's a profile of the driver, who is a father of four and says he's never going to drive again. This profile also notes that his company, Sabek, was involved in another major accident last June, where they spilled up to 4000 gallons of diesel fuel into the bay.
Previous updates after the jump.