GRANTS, N.M. (KRQE) - Westbound traffic has begun moving again on Interstate 40 near Acomita after fire destroyed a tractor-trailer rig hauling barrels of aluminum oxide.
Aerial video from Sky News 13 shows the charred wreckage on the shoulder and the extent of the small brush fire that spread toward the fence line.
There were no reports of injuries in the incident that began about noon 17 miles east of Grants. The westbound lanes reopened shortly before 2:30 p.m. although the extensive traffic backup was expected to take awhile to clear.
New Mexico State Police reported the truck carried 86 barrels of aluminum oxide, a substance that in its various forms is used in the production of aluminum and ceramics and in applications needing a strong metal with high resistance to heat.
The fire was being treated as a hazardous-materials incident.
Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire.
During the closure traffic was diverted onto NM 124 at exit 104 and redirected onto I-40 at exit 96.
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